As opposed to the infamous “deep fake” phenomenon, AI avatar news — known as Deep Real — can represent a commitment to truth, transparency, and the pursuit of journalistic integrity, Miri Michaeli writes.
In the ever-evolving world of journalism, a seismic shift is underway—one that challenges conventions, disrupts traditional practices, and, if used correctly, could herald the dawn of a new era.
The adoption of artificial intelligence stands at the forefront of this transformative wave. Its impact on the future of journalism is undeniable, potentially threatening to erode the very essence of journalism, while at the same time revolutionising the way journalists connect with audiences and deliver news with enhanced clarity and global reach.
As we witness the emergence of the world’s first fully AI automated news edition with digital avatar presenters, concerns about the implications of this technology must be addressed in order to unlock its true potential.
As opposed to the infamous “deep fake” phenomenon, AI avatar news — known as Deep Real — can represent a commitment to truth, transparency, and the pursuit of journalistic integrity.
While deep fakes epitomise deception and trickery, Deep Real can be the antithesis — a manifestation of genuine journalism leveraging the power of technology.
Building trust through transparency
The rise of AI-generated avatars and the use of actors’ or journalists’ images without consent or compensation raise legitimate fears about the exploitation of their identities.
The recent Black Mirror episode “Joan Is Awful,” which saw Selma Hayek embarrassing herself in a church, serves as an explosive reminder of the dystopian consequences that could ensue if these concerns are left unaddressed.
One of the primary criticisms levelled against the tech is that it will lead to the destruction of trust in journalism.
Detractors argue that the use of AI-generated avatars and automated scripts will create a sense of artificiality and detachment from reality.
However, if implemented with journalistic and intellectual rigour, it has the potential to enhance transparency and build trust in unprecedented ways.
AI news is a chance to break with traditional boundaries
By leveraging AI technology, we can provide audiences with a deeper understanding of the news-making process, showcasing the data sources and algorithms used to generate content.
Rather than weakening the role of human input, AI avatar reporters represent a groundbreaking leap forward — a fusion of human innovation and integrity that holds immense potential for journalism.
The technology allows news to break traditional boundaries, delivering reporting with enhanced clarity and a global reach that was previously unimaginable.
At the same time, rather than diminishing the role of human journalists, digital clones empower them to delve deeper into their craft.
By automating certain aspects of news production, Deep Real can liberate journalists, allowing them to focus on investigations and analysis, and cultivating meaningful connections with their sources.
It is a tool that enhances the storytelling abilities of journalists, amplifying their voices and unleashing their creativity.
What about ethics and integrity in AI journalism?
In the realm of digital avatar journalists, ethical considerations take on paramount importance.
To effectively harness the potential of AI-driven journalism while upholding principles of transparency and accountability, robust guidelines and industry-wide standards must be established.
Transparency should be a guiding principle, ensuring audiences are aware of the use of AI-generated avatars and distinguishing them from human journalists.
News organisations must also maintain accountability, taking responsibility for the content produced by digital avatars and adhering to rigorous fact-checking and quality control measures.
Preserving journalistic integrity necessitates a commitment to high ethical standards, exercising critical judgment, and recognizing the limitations of AI technology as a tool that complements, but does not replace, human journalists.
The responsible use of AI technology in journalism demands ongoing critical engagement. While AI presents exciting opportunities to push the boundaries of journalism, its adoption should be approached thoughtfully.
Regular assessments of its impact on society, democracy, and the profession are essential to maintain a healthy balance between the benefits of AI and the core principles of journalism.
By embracing AI with a strong ethical framework, we can shape a future where technology and journalism converge harmoniously, enriching storytelling, expanding reach, and enhancing democratic discourse.
A new era for journalism
In the face of these advancements, the future of journalism is not dark but brighter than ever. AI presents an unparalleled opportunity to democratize news, personalize storytelling, and amplify the impact of journalists.
It is a tool that empowers journalists to connect with global audiences, transcend boundaries, and navigate the complexities of our world with greater efficiency and precision.
As we embrace this new technology, let us fully seize the immense potential it offers. Let us champion the timeless values of truth, accuracy, and transparency in this new era of journalism.
Deep Real represents the remarkable convergence of human ingenuity and technological innovation — a powerful force that propels us toward a future where storytelling knows no bounds.
By integrating Deep Real into the fabric of journalism, we can usher in an era of heightened connectivity, inclusivity, and impact.
It is a call to journalists, news organisations, and society as a whole to harness this transformative tool responsibly, with an unwavering commitment to the principles that have guided journalism throughout history.
Miri Michaeli, a veteran Israeli journalist, is the co-founder and chief news anchor of ACT News, a pioneer in the field of AI-powered news broadcasts using digital avatar presenters.
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