SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES — Google is working with news publishers to design a new AI-backed tool to help journalists report and write their stories, the company said on Thursday.
The project was first reported by The New York Times, which is working with The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal in testing the new product.
Citing anonymous sources, the report said the tool — known internally as Genesis — was in an early testing stage, but impressive enough to be found “unsettling” by some of the news executives that saw its capabilities.
A Google spokeswoman said in a statement that “in partnership with news publishers, especially smaller publishers, we’re in the earliest stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide AI-enabled tools to help their journalists with their work.”
She added that “quite simply, these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating and fact-checking their articles.”
The tool would function as a sort of co-pilot for reporters and editors by providing options for headlines or different writing styles, the company said.
The Google project follows news of a tie-up between OpenAI and The Associated Press, in which the ChatGPT creator was given a license to use the archives of AP going back to 1985 to train AI.
“The arrangement sees OpenAI licensing part of AP’s text archive, while AP will leverage OpenAI’s technology and product expertise,” the two organizations said in a joint statement last week.
The AP has used other forms of AI for nearly a decade, including to automate corporate earnings reports and recap some sporting events.
The emergence of ChatGPT last year caused great alarm in the news industry, with the app’s ability to write convincingly and in seconds on complex topics from a simple prompt.