Journalists Are Contributing To The Hype Surrounding Ai

Journalists Are Contributing To The Hype Surrounding Ai. Reflecting on her four-year tenure covering artificial intelligence (AI), Melissa Heikkilä identifies two notable aspects, one positive and one negative.

Journalists Are Contributing To The Hype Surrounding Ai

“It’s the ultimate beat… AI embodies a narrative of power, offering myriad angles to explore,” remarks the senior reporter for MIT Technology Review magazine. “And there’s no shortage of captivating, quirky personalities to spotlight.”

That’s the bright side. However, she notes a downside: much of the broader media’s portrayal of AI leaves much to be desired.

If we rewind to early 2022, AI was a scarcely searched term on Google, with a meager Google Trend score of just 11, indicating minimal interest. However, last year saw a dramatic surge in AI-related searches, catapulting its Google Trends score to 100. Zoe Kleinman, the BBC’s technology editor, views this increased attention positively but emphasizes the media’s responsibility to report accurately on AI.

“AI is poised to significantly impact our lives, if it hasn’t already, warranting thorough media scrutiny,” she asserts. Additionally, generative AI, which produces content like text, images, and video, is largely responsible for the recent buzz. ChatGPT is a prime example.”

Kleinman advocates for a more balanced narrative, highlighting both the positive applications of AI, such as advancements in medicine and nuclear fusion research, alongside its potential risks.

Reaktor, a Finnish tech company specializing in AI integration, echoes Kleinman’s sentiments. Its chief technology officer, Mikael Kopteff, criticizes the prevalence of sensationalized AI coverage and urges journalists to prioritize educating the public on AI’s capabilities and limitations.

AI programs are highly specialized

“AI programs are highly specialized and far from resembling human-like intelligence,” Kopteff clarifies. He envisions improved media coverage as AI becomes commonplace, with journalists naturally becoming more knowledgeable about the subject.

However, until then, tech companies like Reaktor must play a role in educating the media about emerging AI technologies.

Emily Bell, director of the Columbia Journalism Tow Center for Digital Journalism, underscores the challenges of reporting on AI in today’s fast-paced news environment. She notes the influx of announcements about AI products, coupled with social media noise and expert critiques, amplifying the speed of the news cycle.

Felix Simon, a doctoral student at the Oxford Internet Institute, praises journalists’ growing critical approach to AI reporting but emphasizes the ongoing need for vigilance against industry narratives.

David Reid, professor of AI at Liverpool Hope University, is critical of much AI coverage, describing it as “disappointing” and calling for more nuanced reporting that acknowledges AI’s multifaceted nature.

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