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Yes, an A.I. News Channel Is Coming

Yes, an A.I. News Channel Is Coming

The first artificial intelligence news channel is on its way.

Channel 1 News, a startup founded by producer and director Scott Zabielski (Tosh 2.0) and tech entrepreneur Adam Mosam, will use generative AI technology to “revolutionize the way news is delivered.” Using AI-generated anchors and correspondents, Channel 1 News will launch later this year with a 30-minute weekly show (available through a FAST channel) before expanding to 500-1,000 daily segments that produce “customized newscasts” for every user.

The rationale behind Channel 1 is simple: make news more personal and engaging.

“Basically, these days, everything has sort of become personalization, whether it’s Spotify learning what you want to hear and recommending songs that maybe you didn’t know about but that you’d be interested in, or TikTok, or any of these personalized algorithms,” Zabielski said. “That’s something we don’t really see in news yet.”

Channel 1 will be comprised of a fully AI-generated news team, with entertainment, tech, business and sports reporters.

“Imagine watching CNBC, except what you’re looking at is analysis of stocks that are in your portfolio, or industries that you’re already watching, or if you’re watching sports, it’s it can go more in depth on the teams that you love, as opposed to waiting for the parts of the content that you’re really interested in,” Mosam says.

Channel 1 AI-Generated Broadcast News
An AI-generated newscast. Source: Channel 1 News

However, while the concept of AI-generated news might sound intriguing, there are numerous ethical concerns to it. One of the primary is the potential for misinformation and fake news. The use of large language models (LLMs) to write scripts can lead to “hallucinations,” where the AI fabricates false or misleading information. To counteract this, Channel 1 has shared they will employ a team of editors to verify the accuracy of their reports.

“We’re very aware of the LLM hallucination, hallucinations and things like that,” Mosam said. “We’re staying away from that. It’s established data sources that are really trying to add a new interface on the news.”

Channel 1 also plans on using AI to create visuals for events without actual camera coverage, similar to courtroom sketches. While they plan to label generated imagery, the potential for confusion or misuse still exists. As generative AI evolves, there is the possibility of recreating events that never happened, blurring the line between reality and fiction.

Another issue is maintaining balanced coverage. While personalization can enhance user experience, it also raises concerns about echo chambers and reinforcing existing beliefs. Channel 1 has shared there will be both liberal and conservative hosts providing filtered news, which raises questions about objectivity and impartial reporting. Even as Mosam assures they will “maintain factual reporting,” the fine line between personalization and biased content still remains a concern.

“Although we can give it to you in your perspective, from from your set of opinions, will never ever break that wall of factual reporting,” Mosam says. “So I think that if anything, we can sort of bring people together because they feel like you’re talking to them with their set of facts, opinions and demographics, but we’re holding things closer to the middle, ultimately.”

Moreover, the idea of AI-generated news teams raises questions about journalistic integrity and the role of human reporters. Critics argue that relying on AI for reporting could lead to the replacement of human journalists, impacting employment in the media industry, which is already in a chaotic state due to the ongoing writer’s strike. Additionally, there is concern that AI-generated news could lack the depth, context and critical analysis provided by experienced human journalists.

Despite the concerns, Mosam and Zabielski are moving forward, hoping to revolutionize the world.

“I really do believe — I’ve been a technologist for the last 20 years, and my last startup was, 10, 11 years ago, going creating a VOD platform — and I see this as the next big technological shift,” Mosam said.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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