AI takes center stage at Korea Press Foundation conference – WAN-IFRA

More than 200 publishers, journalists and media practitioners attended on November 9 the Korea Press Foundation Journalism Conference 2023 on “AI and the Transformation of the News Industry” , aimed at exploring the impact of AI technology on journalism.

Speakers included Elena Perotti, Executive Director of Public Affairs and Media Policy at WAN-IFRA, Charlie Beckett, Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Ernest Kung, AI Product Manager at the Associated Press, and Elyse Samuels, Senior Producer of Visual Forensics at the Washington Post.

Elena Perotti, spoke of “AI and News Business Transformation” before a select group of media publishers, and she gave an overview of the current use of Artificial Intelligence in newsrooms, the potential for the future and the efforts of governments and international coalitions to regulate the matter. She said that publishing houses should adopt internal guidelines for the use of AI, thoroughly train their staff and join forces in taking measures to ensure that their content is not used by AI models without autorisation and fair compensation.

Ernest Kung, AI product manager at the Associated Press, who spoke on ” How to Use Generative AI in the Newsroom” introduced the “Local News AI Initiative” project, which brings AI technology to news production at local news organizations. He described several best practices in newsrooms around the world, including El Vocero de Puerto Rico, Michigan Radio and WFMZ-TV. He said that in order to develop tools that efficiently leverage AI technology it is key that media organizations start working together.

Professor Charles Beckett insisted on the importance of human oversight when Artificial Intelligence is used in newsrooms. He spoke of the risks of the AI algorithmic biases, the lack of transparency in models training, and the need to preserve in the AI era journalistic values such as transparency, accountability and accuracy.

In her presentation on “Visual Evidence for Investigative Reporting,” senior producer Elyse Samuels explained how her team at the Washington Post analyzes publicly available data, videos, and photos to provide quick and in-depth coverage of specific events. She emphasized the need to use AI to find information in innovative ways, but also insisted on the importance that journalists be prepared for increasingly sophisticated manipulation of information as AI advances.

All the speakers insisted on the collaboration among media organizations as a crucial component of the strategy that publishers should adopt on the face of the rapid development of AI technology.


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