Ever since Microsoft-backed research lab OpenAI released the prototype of ChatGPT, the chatbot has been taking the world by storm, bringing the spotlight on similar AI tools, which are being leveraged heavily across sectors such as education, IT, law, and more. Now, it appears that AI is taking over the news as well. NewsGPT, the first-of-its-kind website where news reports are generated entirely by artificial intelligence (AI), is now live, leading to a simple query: Is this a threat to media professionals?
What Is NewsGPT? How Can You Access It?
As per NewsGPT CEO Alan Levy, NewsGPT is a game changer. He said in a statement, “For too long, news channels have been plagued by bias and subjective reporting. With NewsGPT, we are able to provide viewers with the facts and the truth, without any hidden agendas or biases.”
NewsGPT can only be accessed via the website: newsgpt.ai. It is not available as a mobile app as of yet.
Once you visit the website, you will be greeted by a banner that claims NewsGPT to be the “world’s first AI-generated news,” marked by “No Reporters. No Fake News.”
You can register your email ID for daily newsletters. There are no charges to sign up and all the news articles on the website aren’t behind any paywall as of yet.
The news articles are typical quick-read articles, marked by AI-generated images. The topics of news covered range from business to sports. With a quick glance, ABP Live could spot news reports on Meta job cuts, the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, FIFA World Cup format change, tropical storm Freddy, and even the Oscars.
How Does NewsGPT Work?
Using natural language processing technology and machine learning (ML) algorithm, NewsGPT scans news sources (news websites, government agencies, and social media) from across the globe in real-time. This gathered data is then used to curate news reports that are claimed to be up-to-date and unbiased.
It should be noted that NewsGPT is not related to ChatGPT, despite sharing a similar name. NewsGPT also doesn’t claim to use OpenAI’s generative pre-trained transformer, or GPT, the neural network ML model that powers ChatGPT.
Does NewsGPT Come As A Threat To Media Professionals?
While the ideology behind NewsGPT — to provide unbiased news — is worth appreciating, it should be noted that for readers, the genuineness of a news platform is judged by the perceived trust it commands among people. And the choice of a “trusted” news source varies from person to person. While some might swear by CNN, others will emphatically claim that BBC is the most trusted, and so on.
Now, trusting an AI-driven news platform is not easy. Especially since the technology is known to deliver factually incorrect and under-researched information without a hitch. Even OpenAI claims that its GPT-3.5 (which currently powers ChatGPT) or even the latest, more powerful large language model GPT-4 cannot be trusted completely.
Furthermore, large language models have the tendency to ‘hallucinate’. This means that AI tools are capable to ‘confidently’ generate a response to a user query without checking the authenticity of its responses. While this is more of a flaw in AI behaviour rather than an error in its coding, it is still a major issue that will hamper an AI creation’s trustworthiness.
Lastly, real-life media professionals are ethically responsible to verify the facts they put out to the public. In case of a wrong piece of information, the responsible reporter could still be held accountable. That is still missing in the case of AI.
For example, ABP Live could spot that while NewsGPT reported that the US government is threatening to ban TikTok unless its Chinese owners sell stakes, it didn’t report that a TikTok spokesperson has publicly dismissed the reports, saying that there has been no such communication.
So, if we judge by objectivity and accuracy of news, we can say for certain that NewsGPT won’t be putting journalists’ jobs at risk anytime soon.