The increasing presence of artificial intelligence and automated technology is changing journalism. While the term artificial intelligence dates back to the 1950s, and has since acquired several meanings, there is a general consensus around the nature of AI as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence. Since many of the AI tools journalists are now using come from other disciplines—computer science, statistics, and engineering, for example—they tend to be general purpose. Now that journalists are using AI in the newsroom, what must they know about these technologies, and what must technologists know about journalistic standards when building them?
On June 13, 2017, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation convened a policy exchange forum of technologists and journalists to consider how artificial intelligence is impacting newsrooms and how it can be better adapted to the field of journalism. The gathering explored questions like: How can journalists use AI to assist the reporting process? Which newsroom roles might AI replace? What are some areas of AI that news organizations have yet to capitalize on? Will AI eventually be a part of the presentation of every news story?