ITN CEO Rachel Corp has written to the UK government asking it to take a “proactive stance” to protect journalism from the impact of artificial intelligence.
Speaking at the EBU’s News Xchange event in Dublin, Corp revealed that the broadcaster has written to ministers at the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to safeguard quality journalism as AI technology – specifically generative AI – develops rapidly.
In the letter, Corp warns of the impact of generative AI on misinformation, which she says needs careful
mitigation, especially with multiple general elections taking place in 2024.
“Generative AI’s potential to distort audiences’ understanding of impartial and accurate information could directly impact social cohesion, which is crucial for a functioning society,” she says. “A working group could explore potential remedies to sustain professional journalism, such as a kitemark system or
revision of copyright law.”
Corp adds that while there may be benefits from AI, such as freeing journalists from administrative tasks and enabling better data understanding through new analytical tools, “AI will never be able to
replicate the work of journalists who gather information and contextualise using their
knowledge, experience, contacts and on-the-ground presence to act as eyewitnesses to events”.
Speaking at News Xchange she added: “Journalism’s role in any well-functioning society is going to become even more important with the rapid development of AI that we are witnessing. Broadcast journalism has a track record of being a source of information that people trust, which has been demonstrated during times of crisis such as the pandemic. It must remain relevant and accessible.
“While much of the current AI conversation focusses on scenarios we are yet to encounter, there is a more pressing threat that can be addressed now through guardrails to ensure that journalism continues to thrive and play a vital role in society during this time of rapid change.”