Is the future already here, just unevenly distributed? Artificial intelligence is already here, making significant changes every day, and whether we like it or not, we need to know how to adapt to it.

In a 2022 survey, Reuters found that almost 40% of media company respondents are experimenting with the use of artificial intelligence in the daily production of media content. Artificial intelligence is applied in all stages of journalistic work, from news gathering, creation, and finally its distribution.

Predicting how artificial intelligence will transform journalism is challenging due to our limited understanding of AI's full potential. Throughout history, different progressions have taken place. Let's consider the simplest example: horses and oxen for plowing fields were replaced by tractors, but not as rapidly as artificial intelligence advances every day. It can already replace us in many tasks.

Despite being the architects of what we refer to as artificial intelligence, and having furnished it with internet access and the wealth of knowledge we've accumulated, current estimates suggest that artificial intelligence operates with an IQ of approximately 150. Albert Einstein had an IQ of 160. With this in mind, it becomes inevitable to ponder the question: What if artificial intelligence possesses an IQ far beyond its current estimate, for instance, 1500? This level of intelligence is unprecedented in our interactions. Will we be capable of effective communication, or will our relationship with artificial intelligence resemble the way humans relate to animals, with humans assuming the role of less intellectually advanced beings in this scenario?

As of now, it remains uncertain whether artificial intelligence will predominantly serve the betterment of humanity or potentially break free and attain a level of independence beyond our current comprehension. It's fascinating that despite ChatGPT being designed to primarily understand and generate text in English, it seems to have an ability to interact with various languages and respond to diverse linguistic inputs. This adaptability is indeed intriguing. For example, it was not allowed to study chemistry to avoid learning the formulas for making bombs, but regardless of the prohibitions, it managed to learn it.

Image Source: Bing Image Creator

Chat with ChatGPT

In light of artificial intelligence's impact on the world and its potential influence on journalism, its evolution, and future importance, we have chosen to obtain responses from ChatGPT. This is a part of the response.

1. Can you tell me what has changed in journalism as artificial intelligence takes over more and more?

"Artificial intelligence (AI) brings significant changes in journalism. Here are some key changes:

Automation of content: UI enables the automation of routine journalistic tasks such as generating reports on finances, sports results and weather forecasts. This can speed up the news release process.

Personalized content: UI can analyze data about readers and tailor content to their interests, enabling personalized news and recommendations.

Research tools: Journalists use UI tools to analyze large data sets to uncover trends and stories that would otherwise be hard to spot.

Information verification: UI tools help verify news and content authenticity, helping to combat misinformation.

Multimedia content generation: The UI can generate images, videos and infographics to enrich journalistic stories.

Increasing productivity: UI tools help journalists organize and process information and reduce the time needed for research and writing.

Despite these advantages, there are also challenges, including issues of ethics, data security and the potential loss of journalism jobs.

Overall, UI is changing the way news is created and distributed, and requires journalism to adapt in the digital age."

2. Could artificial intelligence replace journalists in the future?

"The future of journalism and the potential replacement of journalists by artificial intelligence (AI) is a question that causes many discussions and considerations. There are arguments both for and against the complete replacement of journalists with UI, and much will depend on technical advances, social and ethical factors."

From the analysis of the answers provided by ChatGPT, we can clearly see that the chat is "trained" in such a way that it gives answers without tending to conclusions and ultimately leaves the interpretation to the human.

Advantages and challenges of the presence of artificial intelligence in journalism

Artificial intelligence has suddenly become ubiquitous, sparking a range of opinions and emotions, which can be categorized into three main groups. The first group consists of people who we can label as techno-optimists - these are people who are in love with the daily progress in AI. The second group, technoskeptics, harbors no concerns about AI progress, believing that super artificial intelligence is an unattainable goal. The third group of people, labeled as techno-pessimists, holds the view that the rise of machines is inevitable and will lead to the devastation of entire societies. 

Artificial intelligence has already established a substantial presence in journalism. At present, one notable advantage of AI in journalism includes automated transcription of video and audio content, along with the generation of diverse illustrations, photos, presentations, design work, and the conversion of text into audio formats. While there are still some limitations, the daily advancements in artificial intelligence are steadily addressing these issues. For instance, AI is enhancing the quality of generated voices, mitigating the previously criticized "metallic" sound. Through our usage and feedback, we contribute to the continuous improvement of artificial intelligence in journalism.

Currently, artificial intelligence can be a good form of help, but it will take some time before we experience a situation where quality journalism excludes journalists.

The photo was generated by artificial intelligence with the given description "Collaboration of journalists and AI at work".

Speaking about the current impact of artificial intelligence on journalism with a focus on future perspectives, Adnan Rondić, a journalist from Al-Jazeera, expresses his viewpoint: "At this moment, at least in our region, I don't see great impact of AI on journalism, at least not on classical journalism. However, in the media, and especially in the online space - i.e. the new media - stories can be found more and more often that provide basic information about AI, its wider use, including in our industry. Regarding AI, one should cultivate, on the one hand, caution - not to say skepticism - but also openness - in terms of its potential use and in the creation of media content.

My personal experience with AI is still experimental - and I treated it with the intention of discovering its potential and did not use the obtained data in my work. I have to admit that it was fun, but there are evidently many "gaps". I'm talking about ChatGPT, as a tool - a basic one at that, which is free - and which still contains many material, factual errors. Finally, with the improvement of AI, there will certainly be changes in journalism as well. But even the previous changes, which were revolutionary, never succeeded in replacing people. In this case, journalists. In the end, we still tell stories. AI can be a good ally, if we know how to use it, while adhering to journalistic ethics“.

If media companies want to use AI, it causes ethical dilemmas, because these media are forced to maintain a balance between experimenting with AI and maintaining the trust of the public, i.e. their readers.

However, no matter how much artificial intelligence has made our lives easier in various ways, with its appearance, humanity has faced great threats and challenges.

Despite the fact that manipulation within public discourse is not a new phenomenon, the spread of disinformation has never been greater, but today it is done in a different way, and it is called deepfake.

Deepfakes are artificially generated videos or images that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to manipulate existing footage or photos to create highly convincing but entirely fabricated content. 

The emergence of deepfake technology presents a significant challenge, potentially reshaping the nature of election campaigns. With the aid of deepfakes, candidates can make statements they never actually uttered. However, the verification process may take days, causing us to wonder if we will be able to differentiate between deepfakes and real information. Will we live in some dimension between lies and truth?

Currently, artificial intelligence has great potential to change journalism as we know it. However, a complete replacement of journalists with artificial intelligence is still not possible because ethical judgment and the ability to understand emotions is something that still makes people crucial factors in the journalism industry. With the current knowledge and access to data we have about artificial intelligence, journalism can be in synergism with artificial intelligence, seen as a certain type of collaboration where journalists rely on artificial intelligence to improve their work.

As the labor market undergoes transformations due to the influence of artificial intelligence, the question arises as to whether it is imperative to incorporate AI education into various educational programs and curricula.

Dr. Lejla Turčilo, professor at the Department of Communication studies and Journalism at Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Sarajevo, emphasizes: "I am not a supporter of introducing new subjects ad hoc and without strategic planning, but I believe that it would be extremely important to "incorporate" topics related to AI into existing subjects. It is clear that AI will change and is already changing journalism. Journalism should not run away from it, and the education of future journalists must follow the trends in practice. That is why AI should be treated in all subjects, and future developments in this field will show whether it is necessary to introduce new subjects or even new directions in journalism.

There is absolutely a need for students to start embracing AI as a new tool. The use of AI further emphasizes the importance of critical thinking, analytics and research, as these are fields in journalism that AI will not be able to replace. A new era is ahead of journalism, and students must be ready for it“.

The future is already upon us, and adaptation is essential. In this journey, we may ponder the extent of artificial intelligence's necessity and whether it will eventually achieve the complete replacement of humans in journalism.