People Don’t Want AI-Produced News

According to the latest research, the majority of users don't want news that is produced by AI, preferring old-fashioned human-reported news....
People Don’t Want AI-Produced News
Written by Matt Milano
  • According to the latest research, the majority of users don’t want news that is produced by AI, preferring old-fashioned human-reported news.

    Multiple outlets have been laying off news personnel in favor of AI, or augmenting their efforts with AI tools. Unfortunately, the vast majority of consumers are not sold on the idea of receiving their news from AI.

    Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism published its Digital News Report 2024, and found that only 23% of Americans were comfortable with news that was produced mostly by AI. Similarly, only 18% of UK respondents were comfortable, and 26% of those in Mexico.

    Respondents from Mexico had the biggest percentage of those who had no preference at 38%, but in the UK and US that number was a mere 18%. 63% of UK and 52% of US respondents were uncomfortable with news produced mostly by AI, while that number was only 27% in Mexico.

    “If it was disclosed to me that this was produced by an AI [I] will probably go, ‘Okay, well, then I’ll just not read that,’” said one 40 year-old UK male.

    One of the leading concerns among consumers was the propensity for AI to hallucinate or make mistakes.

    “It is very important that there is human supervision,” said one 28 year-old male in Mexico. “I trust a human more, because we have the ability to analyse and discern, while AI is not sensitive, it has errors, it does not know how to decide what to do … it does not have a moral compass.”

    That doesn’t mean that consumers are completely opposed to the use of AI, but they seem to prefer it being used in the background.

    Our findings show audiences are most open to AI uses that are behind the scenes and areas where AI can help improve their experiences using news, providing more personalised and accessible information. They are less comfortable when it comes to public-facing content, sensitive or important topics, and synthetic videos or images that may come across as real, and where the consequences of error are viewed as most consequential. Overall, there is consensus that a human should always be in the loop and complete automation should be off limits.

    The findings should serve as a caution for those companies and newsrooms that are rushing to replace human journalists and writers with AI.

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