Opinion: The loss of humanity in journalism

Jacob Torres, Features Writer

Illustration by Ray Alarcon Marquez / The Runner

Artificial intelligence is a particular phenomenon that is slowly becoming a part of everyday life, one aspect in particular being journalism.

Now, for the most part, journalism has always been about humans interacting with other humans in order to get information on a big event or incident that has occurred in life. When a person goes out into their field of journalism to cover a story, there are emotions shown through interviews. There are emotions other people display when being interviewed, such as pride when talking about an accomplishment or sorrow when discussing a lost loved one.

I personally believe that if artificial intelligence were to start writing articles and make its way into journalism, the stories would lack soul and feeling.

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence, or “bots” if you will, have already started to make their way into the field of journalism itself. It’s a phenomenon that is slowly happening with mixed results and feelings from people in the field.

According to an article by independent journalist Peter Sterne, titled “AI Enters the Newsroom,” Sterne wrote, “AI-based tools will never replace human journalists. But much like previous technological advancements, these tools could change how reporters do their jobs.”

However, he also brings up some of the risks that could come along with it. Sterne says that it would be difficult to know who can be credited as the author if  journalists became too dependent on AI to write their stories, there is also the potential for the AI to inadvertently plagiarize other sources, therefore compromising journalistic integrity and accuracy.

These are the questions to ask and things to think about when considering artificial intelligence for this particular field. Technology has slowly taken over various aspects of the world and it feels to me like we are becoming a bunch of artificial robots ourselves.

An excerpt from an article titled, “Did A Robot Write This? How AI Is Impacting Journalism,” written by Nicole Martin on Forbes, really hammers home that point.

In it, she asked, “How do you know I am really a human writing this article and not a robot? Several major publications are picking up machine learning tools for content. So, what does artificial intelligence mean for the future of journalists?”

Everything from the way we pay for things to the way we communicate, and everything in between is slowly being taken over by technology.

This brings up an interesting question that I myself thought about: Although technology makes our lives easier in a lot of ways, where does it stop?

Samantha Cole for Vice says that New York City’s education department currently bans access to ChatGPT software due to safety and accuracy concerns. ChatGPT is a new artificial intelligence chatbot that uses machine learning to craft realistic text.

Cole also said that some teachers are reportedly ‘‘in a near-panic’’ about the new ChatGPT technology that would potentially allow students to cheat on assignments.

This just furthers my curiosity on where the limit is with technology, and I ask myself: Where do we draw the line?

With that being said, there’s a fine line between helpful and dangerous when it comes to things of this nature.

Journalism has always been a passion of mine, and although artificial intelligence may make a journalist’s job easier, it will never replace the heart and soul that goes into the work that they strive to do every day.

I do believe that there will be various technological advances that involve AI in the future, but there’s no denying that only humans can get a story filled with heart, soul and emotion.