a new survey conducted by Hotwire Australia has found that while 59 per cent of Australians think they have likely read articles written by robots, almost half are more inclined to read stories written by human journalists.
The survey looked at Australians’ opinions on robo-journalism and news consumption habits, finding that as a nation, we are fairly divided when it comes to reading stories written by robots.
It found that while robo-journalism is on the rise, ethical issues and content quality remain important to many Australians.
Nearly half of people feel the internet and smartphones have harmfully affected journalism, with 51 per cent seeing moral issues with stories prepared by robots.
However, further insights from the survey show that 57 per cent of people would read a story written by a robot journalist if it was free.
Yet a significant 86 per cent of people felt if a story was written by a robot, it should be clearly disclosed.
Hotwire Australia managing director Mylan Vu said: “While some publishers may view robo-journalism as a potentially cost-efficient alternative to hiring journalists, it’s clear the public still sees a valuable role for journalists to play in delivering news, driving debate, and sharing expert knowledge.”
While robo-journalism is more popular amongst younger Australians with 38 per cent of 25-34 year olds interested in reading robo-generated news, most of the population prefer to read stories written by humans and still value the work of journalists.
Hotwire Australia’s senior content manager Louise Morrisey believes the report reveals plenty of key takeaways for businesses and how they can better align their content strategies with the views of the Australian public.
She said: “Corporate communications teams can also take learnings from the fact Australians are eager for a human perspective in news.
“The evolution to a more automated era is inevitable, but Artificial Intelligence and robots are not yet able to completely replace skills such as the ability to contextualise analysis, share points of view, add unique perspectives, and empathise.
“This is where the ‘human element’ can bring priceless value,” added Vu.
“The challenge for media outlets in the near future will be to find the balance between raw and fact-based news that can be automated, while ensuring Australians still receive enough investigative and analytical journalism.”