Jesus is soaring through the air, ball in hand, with a crowd of people gazing up in awe. It’s like a painting straight out of the Renaissance, except everything is at these wild angles. Why? Well, my friend, this image was created using Midjourney, an AI tool that generates mind-bending visuals. I mean, it’s easy to make Jesus dunk a basketball, but finding that perfect image? That’s a whole different ball game.
Now, the use of AI-generated art in journalism sparks all sorts of technical and ethical questions. What are the limits of this technology? And even if there weren’t any limits, should we really exclude humans from the equation entirely? These debates aren’t just happening in the media industry, they’re happening all across society as generative AI tools gain power.
AI has gone from being a sci-fi concept to an everyday consumer product in the blink of an eye. It’s like we went from VHS to streaming services overnight. And while AI can definitely help journalists with their day-to-day tasks, we need to carefully navigate its role in the newsroom. We need an ethical code to guide us through this uncharted territory.
That’s where unions come in, my friends. We need a united front, a coalition of journalists and creators who believe that journalism should always be driven by human beings. Hamilton Nolan, a council member of the Writers Guild of America, East, understands this. Unions can rally the troops and ensure that we don’t lose sight of our values in the rush to embrace AI.
So, let’s talk about the different facets of AI. It’s a big umbrella term, covering everything from language models to image generators. But when it comes to journalism, we need to be nuanced. AI can be a powerful tool for sorting, organizing, and summarizing data. It’s like having a semi-competent research assistant by your side. But there’s a world of difference between using AI for logistical tasks and relying on it for creative work. We can’t let AI replace the human mind when it comes to the creative side of journalism.
Now, let’s tackle the issue of intellectual property. As media organizations grapple with large language models that scrape their content without permission or compensation, we need to stand up for our rights. It’s time to enforce our copyright claims to the absolute max. This is our leverage over the AI companies, and if we don’t use it now, we may lose it forever. We need to control the tools, my friends, and make sure they benefit us, the journalists and artists who put their heart and soul into their work.
But here’s the kicker, my friends. Not everyone in the industry has our best interests at heart. Some bosses see journalism as just another business where profit is king. If we let them have free rein over AI implementation, it’ll be a race to the bottom. That’s why we need unions to stand as a barrier against this madness. Union contracts are our shield, protecting us from the profit-driven whims of those who don’t understand or respect the true value of journalism.
At CJR, we took a shot at integrating AI into our newsroom for this very issue. But let me assure you, we did it responsibly. We used generative-art tools to enhance our work, not replace human creativity. We understand the importance of preserving the human touch in journalism, even as we explore the potential of AI. It’s an exciting time, my friends, a time of innovation and discovery. Let’s make sure we stay true to our values as we navigate this brave new world.