DUBAI: News headlines across the globe in five years will be drafted by artificial intelligence, Knowhere news site’s co-founder and editor-in-chief said on Monday.
“Artificial intelligence in the newsroom reduces the cost of production, so the individual will not have to pay much for information,” Nathaniel Barling said, adding that AI “would restore the golden age of journalism.”
Speaking at a session on “Automation: Breaking the News” at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Barling said: “Newspapers have lost control because people are now relying on social networks.”
“Newsrooms need to fundamentally transform their revenue models, and re-image the profession of journalism as a whole,” he said.
Barling also spoke of the need for free access to information for all, and said that while paywalls did not affect the quality of journalism, they did allow for more fake news to be spread more easily.
“Paywalls do not hurt the quality of reporting and more consumers are now willing to pay for in-depth long-form content, yet it also raises the question of hiding information from some,” he said.
“Good information is coming to those who pay for it, but this is not the world in which we want to live.”
As AI enters workplaces across several domains, other journalists believe the technology could be detrimental to newsrooms.
Gerard Baker, editor-at-large of The Wall Street Journal, questioned whether artificial intelligence will threaten or strengthen confidence in newsrooms.
“Can we rely on algorithms to settle the big disputes across the globe?” he asked.
However, Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief emeritus, said: “Artificial intelligence will make it easier to work in newsrooms by fighting false news.
“Fake news is not a new phenomenon, and the advent of AI will evolve the newsroom, but not threaten it,” he said.
Mina Al-Oraibi, editor-in-chief of The National in the UAE, said that journalists were being strengthened by AI, which allowed them to focus on the story instead of on sources of information.
“Journalists are now feeling the threat of artificial intelligence, so they are focusing on how much the news is more influential than its accuracy,” she said.