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The ethics of AI reporting are being developed before our eyes

Now I would have thought that the question about using generate-AI to create articles without immediate disclosure was sorted by the Michael Schumacher debacle. But apparently not, as Irish title the Limerick Leader (in addition to a number of other local titles) published an article originally entitled ‘Should refugees in Ireland go home?’ That’s about as bald-faced a piece of clickbait as you could imagine — except that the article was spat out by ChatGPT based on a presumably extremely cynical prompt.

As can be seen here, the article has since been reframed as a story about AI rather than simply being written by one. Now entitled ‘Can we trust AI?’ as though it was all a great big experiment conducted upon the readers, the article is only about 250 words long and adds precisely zero value to the reader.

Look, since it apparently needs to be said — don’t use generative-AI tools like ChatGPT for the sake of it. Definitely don’t use it without initially disclosing its use right at the top of the article. And whatever you do do not ask it to write an article about an emotive and divisive subject in order to convince people to click through for outrage. That serves nobody.


Matt Moulding’s THG in talks to buy business newspaper City AM

Acquisition would mark a departure for London-listed ecommerce group

Further developments in the saga of City AM’s sale — the online retailer THG is in talks to buy the London-based business newspaper. There’s still time for this all to change but the mashup of an ecommerce company and the business newspaper would be an interesting departure for City AM after 17 years under consistent ownership.

Update: Yeah it’s sold.


Spotify CEO teases potential AI-powered capabilities surrounding personalization, ads

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek teased a few ways the streaming service could introduce additional AI-powered functionality.

Daniel Ek is talking a big game about generative-AI powered audio ads: “By using generative AI and our tools here, I think you’re going to be able to see that we can significantly reduce the cost that it takes for advertisers to develop new ad formats.” Now I instinctively don’t like the sound of that, but we’ll need to see how it works in practice before writing this off. It’s only fair.


YouTube Q2 ad sales rise 4.4%, Alphabet handily tops earnings estimates

YouTube’s second-quarter 2023 ad sales had a modest year-over-year uptick, rising 4.4% to $7.67 billion, a reversal after three consecutive quarters of declines at the video platform. Alphabe…

It’s results season, and the Earnings Goose is busy bringing quarterly earnings reports to all the good girls and boys of the media industry. For YouTube — which continues to be unbelievably dominant in the digital video space — that means another rise in ad revenue to $7.67bn. Next up, Meta’s earnings (reported at 5pm last night before I wrote this newsletter).

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