This news reporter is AI-generated. Should we be worried?

It is a major undertaking. Operating a Media Group in 2024 requires substantial resources, especially if it's ATV Station, a 24 hour news channel. Declining ad revenues make it even more difficult to maintain the hundreds of employees needed to keep it running. Journalists. Producers, cameramen, editors, anchors, and a lot of costly gear this man has set upon replacing all this with a few lines of code on a computer. The video he posted a few months ago, a news program produced entirely by artificial intelligence, quickly went viral. Hello and welcome to Channel 1A. New way of consuming, reporting and thinking about the news powered by artificial intelligence, all presented by our team of AI generated reporters. We think there's an opportunity to really bring news a few generations forward. Adam Masam is a Canadian engineer and investor who's lived in California for the past 20 years. Given the challenges news channels currently face, declining viewership, coupled with the confidence crisis, he's convinced that the solution lies in news programs tailored to each viewer. This is Channel 1. Military operations against Hamas by Israeli Defense forces continue in Gaza with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We believe personalization is the key to unlocking the next level of user experience and news. This has never been done before and with new advances in technology, that opportunity we believe does exist. So we're trying to figure out if we can go and take advantage of that. Ukraine President Vladimir Zelensky urged his nation's people to stay focused and strong in the face of the protracted war with Russia. Zelensky's comments come as the US Congress disagrees over passing a new aid package. We have reporters that have that don't exist. We've created these people from scratch, and that technology has never existed before today. To achieve this, the team behind Channel 1 analyze the normal news production process and set about replacing every step with an AI engine. There are so many, so many parts of the system, and every time you see one of these little icons like this, that's a different artificial intelligence system running as an agent or a bot in the background helping us get this workflow out. Mawson says AI is not a goal in itself, simply a tool to achieve his objective to produce personalized news in some 30 languages for millions of viewers around the globe. We're not coming to the world and saying we like AI reporters and anchors better than humans. We like humans better. Humans are better at the job. Obviously what we're trying to do is to create personalization and to do that we need scale. Fox, CNN and NBC, it's been reported that they spend $2.5 billion a year on their newsrooms. I need to put out more content than all of them combined, and I don't have $2.5 billion. Channel 1 intends to mostly use content produced by major news agencies, feed it into the machine and let AI rewrite, rehash and reformat it. That just came in this morning from the agency. It's been loaded as systems run through it understands the shots and we are going to figure out the the right structure and the right style and the right voice overs. And now we are actually creating this video. And just like in a real newsroom, AI journalists are more than just an image and a voice. They also have their own personality. They have their own back stories, their own thoughts and opinions. They have their own memories of what they've reported on previously. They start to function almost as real people, which is terrifying to say. To demonstrate the technology, the company created my digital double and used it to cover the Consumer Electronics Show. So we used your double to present that sample story. You want to see it? Yeah, sure. Bit afraid, but, yeah, here we go. After a 2023 dominated by artificial intelligence chat bots. Like open a eyes. ChatGPT AI is expected to be a top CES trend. That's crazy. Well, if you can do this, I mean, there's no limit to what you can do, right? So that's that's correct. While you see and hear me talking right now, it's actually not me speaking, but rather my digital clone. The computer can have me say pretty much anything. Puede acerme hablar en espanol mucho mejorque yo mismo moyetzi frovacopia toser precrasna govarit parouski hata ananya statio tahada table Arabia washer ratil loratil okra. All presented by our team of AI generated reporters. Nikita Roy is a journalist specialized in artificial intelligence. She says she's impressed by Channel 1 demonstration. Impressed, but not surprised. This is the future of the media ecosystem, not just them. Anybody can create these human AI avatars telling the news. That's something that's possible now with AI, but with that, a lot of ethical concerns come into place. Roy warns that artificial intelligence has a propensity to hallucinate and to spread falsehoods. All good reason, she believes, to err on the side of caution. AI can be biased in their algorithms. Also, they have the ability of spreading misinformation, especially generative AI. Any AI system that is built needs to have a human component to it, a human oversight in a human in the loop. Marsam agrees there's risks involved, but he stresses that while the machine will do most of the work, humans will always have the last word. He also promises to be transparent about AI generated content. We're trying to lay down a responsible method for applying this technology, but we're really trying. Our intention is to do this in the right way. Everything you'll see on Channel 1 relies on trusted sources and fact checking. We would like to establish ourselves as a trusted partner in this new reality because the truth is we can't stop what's coming. It's coming one way or another. Both agree on one thing, Artificial intelligence is here to stay. So it's up to traditional media and humans to adapt. This is the future because it's possible. And if you don't do it, you will be left behind. That's that's the biggest issue. We'll be in touch. Thank you for tuning in. We'll see you soon. This is Channel 1. And to talk more about this, Jean Francois Belanger, the real one this time, is joining us from our studios in Montreal. Jean Francois, what was it like to see yourself on the screen like that? That's why I think the word to describe it best would be discombobulating. And it immediately raises a lot of questions. And in terms of implications both for journalists and for the public in general, the technology is evolving so fast that rules and regulation just can't keep up. Now the federal government has a piece of legislation in the works. It's called the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act. The Canadian Association of Journalists is currently working on a set of principles and guidelines for the use of AI, and most media outlets are putting together their own policy in that regard. And the keyword for everyone is transparency. I might add that although this will likely have a big impact in the newsrooms, it might even end up costing jobs. AI experts agreed that computers can't gather the news. In other words, we'll always need real journalists in the field. Here, here, Jean Francois, thank you. So what about the position of CBC News when it comes to the use of AI? We asked general manager and editor in chief Brody Fenlon. Well, a year ago, we issued guidelines to our journalists, and we made them publicly available. But the use of generative AI in our journalism, and at the heart of those guidelines is a promise to the audience that you as the audience will never have to figure out or determine what is real or AI generated. So full transparency, full accountability, a promise to the audience that nothing goes to error online without human oversight. And all of this about protecting and preserving public trust and confidence in our journalism.

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