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Survey: Most don’t want AI-generated news content

A robot assigned to work as a television reporter. (Artwork by The Desk)
A robot assigned to work as a television reporter. (Artwork by The Desk)

Most news consumers are not interested in reading news content that was created using artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini, according to the findings of a new survey released this week.

The survey, conducted by marketing firm Bynder, revealed more than half of American and British participants wanted news stories produced by humans rather than robots. Review-related content written by AI programs were slightly more acceptable, with around 41 percent saying they were OK with machine-learning tools creating “advice guides” that can lead someone to buy a product or service.

The survey comes about one month after Adweek reported Google was pitching certain software-based solutions to large-scale news organizations with the promise that AI-powered tools could help in the research and reporting phases of a news story.

As part of the experiment, the news organizations agreed to use Google’s AI-powered tools for at least a year, during which they would report back the effectiveness of the tools in researching and reporting out a topic. In exchange, Google agreed to pay the news outlets a five-figure sum and allow them to use those tools as part of their news-gathering practices, Adweek said.

“Google is reportedly testing a new software which will help journalists write articles — this is no surprise, given that as AI is evolving, it is helping to speed up processes in a number of industries,” Steve Vinall, the Director of Global Brand and Communications at Bynder, said in a statement.

“In our recent survey, we found that out of a range of types of written copy, news stories were ranked by consumers as the format which should be created by a human,” Vinall continued. “Journalists should ensure that articles still have the human feel of utilizing AI tools to avoid reader dissatisfaction or even distrust.”

Vinall called for the “careful monitoring” of AI-powered tools in the journalism industry, though he didn’t say whether that should take the form of self-regulation or if a third party should oversee how news outlets use those tools. He did say that human editors should be involved in the creation and fact-checking of articles, presumably before they are published online or elsewhere.

The Bynder survey involved more than 2,000 participants in the United States and the United Kingdom. The survey weighed the participants’ perception on written news content, as opposed to news aired on broadcast television or radio.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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