The Council of Europe, on December 29, adopted a set of guidelines aimed at the responsible implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) systems in journalistic practices. This move marks a significant step in ensuring that the evolving field of AI in journalism aligns with the principles of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
Comprehensive and Practical
The guidelines, formulated by the Council’s Intergovernmental Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI), offer a broad framework for the use of AI in journalism. They encompass various stages of journalistic production, including the decision to implement AI systems, the procurement of AI tools, and their integration into newsroom practices. Notably, they also consider the impact of AI on audiences and society at large.
A Collaborative Approach
The guidelines are not just for news media organizations, they also speak to states, technology providers, and digital platforms that disseminate news. By addressing these different stakeholders, the Council of Europe ensures a comprehensive approach to the responsible use of AI in journalism. This includes assigning responsibilities to technology providers and platforms, as well as encouraging member states to develop standards and provide support, possibly including financial assistance, for the development of responsible journalistic AI systems.
AI’s Growing Influence in Journalism
These guidelines come at a time when AI’s role in journalism is increasingly prominent and varied. For instance, Channel 1 AI announced plans to launch an AI-operated newsroom in 2024. Similarly, German media giant Axel Springer has partnered with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into its journalism. These developments, along with concerns about copyright issues and the training of AI models on media content, underline the importance of establishing clear and responsible AI usage guidelines in journalism.
Aligning with Broader AI Strategies
The guidelines were developed alongside the Council of Europe’s broader efforts to create a framework convention on AI. This indicates a strategic alignment and an intent to embed these guidelines within a larger, overarching structure governing AI’s use across various sectors.
A Milestone in Responsible AI Utilization
In conclusion, the Council of Europe’s guidelines represent a pivotal moment in the integration of AI into journalism. By setting a standard that respects human rights and the rule of law, these guidelines are poised to shape the future of AI in news media, fostering an environment where technology enhances journalistic integrity and public trust.
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