Reuters Chief Would Be “Astonished” If AI Isn’t Writing The News

Robot working on computer in office. Modern humanoid typing on laptop. Artificial intelligence concept. Robotic assistant at workplace. Vector illustration.

Sue Brooks, the head of the Reuters news agency has said that she would be “astonished” if AI was not being used to report some of the news, such as financial results, by the end of the year.

In an interview with The Times, Brooks said that Reuters was “experimenting the whole time” with AI and had already introduced some features to its services.

However, she added that it was critical that there was “always a human in the loop.”

“We’re reviewing the whole time. We are talking about guidelines and guidance and oversight by editorial people and complete transparency for anything that does involve AI,” she said.

Brooks believes that AI could usher in a “golden age” of news as it was “freeing up brain power to be creative and putting all these tools in your toolbox to start … creating really magical experiences for readers.”

Reuters’ news content will have automated time-coded transcripts, translation of many languages into English and identification of public figures so that journalists can pinpoint what they need quickly.

The new features will form part of its Reuters Connect service, which is used by newsrooms around the world with more than 600,000 videos, six live streams and 23 million pictures made available from its journalists.

It already uses AI to translate financial news into different languages. Brooks said it had taken two or three years to develop the language models to a satisfactory condition.

“The one thing our 3000 customers have in common is that what they need from us is speed,” Brooks said.

However, many news sites have already taken to employing AI in news writing and content production. Bloomberg, for example, is already using AI in its financial terminals to answer simple questions and parse financial information into stories quickly.

Earlier this year, tech site CNET found itself in a lot of hot water after it was quietly publishing articles written by AI tools without informing readers or, indeed, its own staff. It found a litany of errors within the work created by ChatGPT.

It began publishing the articles in November and, at times, was churning out 12 pieces a day. However, the publisher was forced to issue corrections, retractions and a mea culpa to the world of online news.

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