The AI revolution continues, and Google is at the forefront with its latest creation, “Genesis.” According to the New York Times, this new AI tool is specifically designed to assist journalists in writing news articles by generating news content based on gathered information about current events. It aims to act as a “personal assistant” for journalists, making their work more efficient and streamlined.
Executives from major publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, and News Corp have witnessed the capabilities of Genesis. There is more to it than just that though. Some places are actively constructing listings for jobs that don’t exist yet.
GAMURS, the company who let go 40%ish of their staff recently is now hiring an “AI Editor” to do approximately 250 articles per week at a whopping $4.20 per article.
The future of written gaming content is here! Lmao pic.twitter.com/MaAUznBrIs
— Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) June 13, 2023
While this listing was quickly taken down, and a half-baked reason under the guise of “messing around” was given for its existence in the first place. It goes to show that there is a trend right now that sees AI as being a replacement for work rather than something that will aid as intended. However, some of the executives from the New York Times et al. have expressed feelings of unease about AI. As the AI tool seems to take the hard work of journalists for granted.
This is happening on the back of the current strike that is happening with the Writers Guild of America West and their cousins at SAG-AFTRA petitioning for fair wages and conditions. Which is proving itself to be one of the most important strikes in modern history for the entertainment industry.
It’s important to realise that in a lot of countries, writing for a living is not a lucrative one. Aside from very famous authors who are exceptions to the rule – the people who write these articles, and produce your favourite shows or podcasts are all people like you and me. It’s the reason why when you hear of strikes or petitions for fair and equal pay – you tend not to hear the big executives speaking. It’s because this doesn’t affect them.
Weekend Reading: WHY WE STRIKE!
Download, share with your barista, send to your folks.
We’ll see you next week on a picket line or a rally near you! 💪https://t.co/qLTlYtcbu2 pic.twitter.com/ZpaNE4ysNx
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) July 22, 2023
It’s official: Actors are on strike.
SAG-AFTRA members will join Hollywood writers on the picket lines for the first time in 63 years, as part of a historic labor battle. https://t.co/640sSRejKB
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 13, 2023
It is very common when you’re writing for the median salary to be considerably under a living wage. In the UK for example, it’s very common for staff writing positions at online outlets to be around £21,000 or $26,000 a year. It’s important to realise, that even if there is a median salary of $40,000 to $60,000 for writers, that will vary drastically depending on where you live. For example; $40,000 a year may be a great minimum wage if you are out in a remote area where the cost of living is lower. However, if you’re in any major city like New York or Los Angeles it isn’t enough to make ends meet.
I am on the younger side of the millennial spectrum and I have been working many jobs simultaneously over the years. Mainly out of necessity. Living in Dublin where the cost of rent alone is closer to 2,000 Euro a month for a basic apartment, only making E25,000 a year like what I was when I was working as a Research Assistant in Trinity College Dublin was completely unsustainable. Even with another person to help share the load. We should never be forced to work more than one job, simply so that we can have a roof over our heads or something to eat.
Google spokesperson, Jen Crider, emphasized that the company’s goal is not to replace journalists but to collaborate with news publishers, particularly smaller ones, in exploring the potential benefits of AI-enabled tools. These tools are meant to aid journalists, not replace their crucial role in reporting, creating, and fact-checking articles.
The push for AI helpers in newsrooms and in the entertainment sphere is a double-edged sword. While they offer possibilities for efficiency and productivity, it’s essential to tread carefully. Ensuring they don’t compromise the integrity, heart and accuracy of entertainment in all its forms. After all the work that goes into good writing can not be overstated, regardless of its newsroom or writers’ rooms. As the “Genesis” tool undergoes testing, the industry awaits its impact with both curiosity and caution.