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Artificial Intelligence

December 2023

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is already proving be the most transformative and disruptive breakthrough to confront the media industry since the advent of the internet. And like many modern-day advances, it is moving at blistering speed.

It differs from automation — an advancement many newsrooms have been using for years — in game-changing ways: rather than relying on human instructions for repetitive tasks, generative AI scours the vast universe of information to perform remarkable feats. With every effort, it learns, develops and grows.

It would be folly for any media organization to ignore AI’s potential for improving a newsroom’s daily workflow, for refining and streamlining the more routine elements of newsgathering and for providing new and unexplored perspectives on the world. But like so many 21st-century innovations, not all of the changes will be for the better. CP’s approach is one of equal parts curiosity and caution. As the technology evolves and expands, so too will our policy as we monitor and evaluate its impact.

Reporting

It bears repeating that at ۰ͼ, accuracy, honesty and fairness are bedrock principles. Any information sourced from AI must be checked, credited and authenticated; passing off the work of someone or something else is a severe breach of CP standards. The agency does not allow the use of AI tools to rewrite, edit, condense or otherwise alter copy. AI also offers the possibility of assisting journalists as they research stories, particularly in deciphering and boiling down large amounts of information. Use of AI on this front should first be discussed with a manager, and facts must be properly verified before going to wire.

Photos, video and audio

AI makes it all too easy to create altered or fabricated photos, audio and video that can be indistinguishable from the real thing. Editors must avoid such material, except when it is the subject of a story — and in such cases, supervisors must be consulted and the image itself clearly identified as the work of AI.

Transparency

We must always be transparent with readers. CP stories where automation played a role must always include a note for readers that they were “generated automatically with the help of a CP application.” Such disclosures are vital and will remain so as the media’s relationship with AI develops.