. . . what new human journalism practices are there that don’t just broaden or deepen the existing production model, but serve to re-imagine it and its outcomes?

– Mark Deuze and Charlie Beckett

Threats of automation are proportional to the extent the work is automatable. Authors Mark Deuze and Charlie Beckeet argue an antidote to journalism’s obsolescence-by-machine is a renaissance in the underlying craft.


In this contribution, we frame the normative dimension of artificial intelligence and journalism using a taxonomy of:

  • the business of news and journalism as a profession which tends to overemphasize instrumental rather than imaginative approaches to Al;
  • industry and academic discourse problematizing all-powerful technology yet struggling to come to terms with urgent underlying ethical issues related to Al; and
  • the historical fallacy of perfection articulated with machines as exemplified in the expectations of Al, blinding us to the mutual construction of humanity and technology (and, in so doing, journalism and Al).

Taken together, these insights contribute to the development of Al literacy, which we define as the knowledge and beliefs about artificial intelligence which aid their recognition, management, and application. We consider literacy as a way of describing a process of deliberation, reflection and transparency, not as an endpoint, let alone technological solution – as for example, digital literacy often tends to be seen in the context of the problem of disinformation campaigns online.

Artificial intelligence literacy is not simply knowing about Al, but also understanding and appreciating its normative dimension, as much as it is linked to impact and action: being able to identify ways to apply Al responsibly, creatively and efficiently.

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Imagination, Algorithms and News: Developing AI Literacy for Journalism
DIGITAL JOURNALISM | September 22, 2023 | by Mark Deuze and Charlie Beckett