With concerns around the influence of AI on online news and information widely shared among the British public, a majority are in favour of stronger regulation and an ‘AI blackout’ during elections, writes Newsworks research and insight director Heather Dansie for The Media Leader
While discussions around the benefits and drawbacks of generative AI for online journalism have been top of the industry news agenda, Dansie argues the preferences and worries of readers themselves should also be considered.
Research conducted by Newsworks has found that while half of Brits are familiar with the concept of generative AI creating online content, almost three-quarters (74%) feel they would be unable to identify such content if they saw it.
Although some younger people feel more positive about the prospect of more AI-generated content in the future, a majority of the public worry about its negative impacts on news, with almost two-thirds (64%) agreeing generative AI increases the risk of misinformation during an election. Nearly the same proportion (62%) agree an ‘AI blackout’ should be instated to safeguard quality, accurate reporting.
Dansie also highlights the importance of human qualities of creativity and judgement when it comes to the journalism readers want to read; 72% of Brits prefer to read content written by people over AI-created work, the study shows.
In underlining the importance of these human qualities in the journalism readers access, Dansie argues: “We turn to the news, and therefore trusted journalism, for that first draft of history or for that first opinion of original thinking. AI, on the other hand, can only create from content that has come before.”
Read Heather Dansie’s full analysis of Newsworks’ latest AI research on The Media Leader.