OXFORD MEDIA SOCIETY
As we step into fifth week and termly burn out begins to seep in, I am sure many of us wish for a way to make our lives just that little bit easier. Well, the development of AI technology might offer a partial solution. The AI bot, ChatGPT, and its visual counterpart DALL-E, have become the fastest growing platforms ever created, with businesses, universities, and news platforms all adapting to their presence. ChatGPT, which can write essays, stories, and even haikus, may therefore be a highly useful tool for students and employees alike. However, there is growing debate on the impact such AI technology might have on the media we produce and consume.
Vanity Fair’s recent article by Joe Pompeo provides a “dystopian” outlook on the technology. Highlighting fears of journalists that such AI might take their jobs, reduce industry standards, normalise plagiarism, and even spread mass misinformation. The article ends on an ominous note, that although platforms such as ChatGPT are currently unable to contend with quality professional journalism and investigative projects, it seems likely that “20 years down the road” those working in analysis may have to “find something else to do.”
In contrast, in a recent episode of The Guardian’s Science Weekly Ian Sample discusses the future of AI in creative industries with Professor John Naughton. They pose thought-provoking questions about the uses of platforms like ChatGPT and whether such technology may be able to progress from just imitating human work. Children’s author Patrick Jackson argues for the benefits of such technology; from writing short stories to formatting educational material, the AI is able to provide creative triggers for writers, poets, and journalists. In Jackson’s words: “it’s not absolutely perfect, but it certainly takes one minute to do work that would take hours to do.”
I am personally excited to see how AI will improve the media and communications industry; by using AI for more banal and basic work, the creative industry is more likely to extend energy to imaginative and inspiring projects. Our talk with Matthew Freud (Freud Communications) on Thursday 16th February may even be able to shine further insight onto the widespread impact of this new technology in other sectors of the media industry!
Time: How ChatGPT Managed to Grow Faster Than TikTok or Instagram
Vanity Fair: ChatGPT’s Mind-Boggling, Possibly Dystopian Impact on the Media World
The Guardian: How Will ChatGPT Transform Creative Work?
For future reference:
Ex Machina (dir. Alex Garland, 2014)