The release of ChatGPT in November 2022 may be a milestone on the road to newsroom automation. ChatGPT is already demonstrating plausible performance on journalistic tasks like summarisation and copy editing, and in early 2023 we’ll see the release an even more advanced language model, GPT-4. These AI technologies and their capabilities are developing extremely rapidly, but adoption of them by newsrooms is not. While the concept of automated journalism is now familiar, examples of active deployment of these workflows in newsrooms is still surprisingly rare.

The debate around newsroom AI has so far focused mostly on its potential impact on journalists, but there is also an increasing urgent need to discuss and understand how newsrooms will use these tools for the benefit of audiences. Adoption of AI and automation may bring changes to the day-to-day job of journalists and questions about the role of human editors in the production of news. But it may also bring huge opportunities for making journalism more accessible, relevant and useful to many more people. Great enabler, ethical minefield or both? We need to talk about the inevitable role that AI will play in the production of news content.

We could also ask ChatGPT to join us. Here’s what it suggests we discuss:

Prompt: Summarise the arguments for and against the use of ChatGPT in journalism that could be discussed by a panel at the International Journalism Festival.

Response: At the International Journalism Festival, a panel could discuss the arguments for and against the use of ChatGPT in journalism. The potential benefits of using ChatGPT include improved efficiency and accuracy, as well as the ability to assist journalists in generating high-quality content quickly. However, there are also concerns about the potential for ChatGPT to replace human journalists and the risk of the technology being used to spread false or misleading information. A balanced discussion of these issues would provide valuable insights for journalists and others interested in the intersection of technology and journalism.