I think scaling will allow for better journalism, on more topics, and in greater depth.

Google News founder Krisha Bharat says AI can provide journalists with ‘superpowers’ provided they have access to the required resources. Availability could be a concern for smaller news operations.

He says journalists need access to data scientists, high-end computing time, and AI models.

Bharat foresees AI-enabled news applications such as AI systems interacting with people as journalists do, with machines using speech recognition and speech synthesis, enabling interviewing ‘at scale.’ Intelligent assistants could ‘co-present’ interviews and conversations.

He also sees the potential for AI systems to pool knowledge from ‘thousands’ of sources, both inside and outside a news organization.

As well as future applications, the interview covers

  • Transparency in AI systems
  • New skill sets for journalists
  • Contributions to democracy from AI in journalism
  • Effects of the proposed EU copyright provisions
  • ‘Winner-take-all’ scenarios and the potential for an AI arms race

Bharat founded Google News after the September 11 attack in New York City. He is an advisor to two tech companies, Columbia Journalism School, and the Knight Foundation. Bharat will give a keynote address at the upcoming GEN Summit.

His comments are in a wide-ranging interview for The GLOBAL EDITORS NETWORK.


Krishna Bharat on the impact of AI on journalism and democracy
GLOBAL EDITORS NETWORK | May 16, 2019 | by Nicolas Kristen