During the experiment, the AI reporter successfully pitched several story ideas within a 20-minute software run. It demonstrated the ability to generate topical, accurate, and impartial suggestions. However, it also made critical mistakes, including fabricating expert evidence, known as “hallucinations” in AI science. These errors highlighted the need for human intervention to uphold ethical and editorial standards in AI journalism.
To facilitate the experiment, Fagerlie and Sky News created two “agents” within ChatGPT, mimicking a reporter and an editor. The AI reporter was then tasked with pitching story ideas, conducting research, identifying expert sources, and even sourcing AI-generated images. It successfully produced a 300-word AI-generated news article and a 90-second TV report.
Tom Clarke, Science and Technology Editor for Sky News, acknowledged the increasing sophistication of generative AI but concluded that the imagination and rigor of real-world journalists ensured the security of their jobs, at least for now.
The experiment conducted by Sky News sheds light on the capabilities and opportunities of AI journalism, as well as the risks associated with this powerful technology. Over the past months, experts have debated the potential and limitations of AI software. Sky News’ experiment provides valuable insights into the real-world implications of AI in journalism.
While the AI reporter demonstrated competence in certain areas, its lack of originality and ability to make critical mistakes highlights the need for human journalists in newsrooms. However, with further development and AI expertise, AI tools could potentially assist in mundane production tasks, allowing human journalists to focus on more imaginative and empathetic storytelling.
As technology continues to evolve, journalists and professionals in various fields will need to adapt to the presence of AI. While the experiment showcased the current capabilities of AI tools, it is clear that human journalists still possess unique skills and perspectives that cannot be replaced by AI. The future of AI in journalism remains uncertain, but for now, human journalists can take solace in the fact that their roles are secure.