Artificial intelligence (AI) is the new buzzword in journalism. Media professionals and academics alike are racing to figure out how this latest technological innovation will reshape an already precarious industry.
Will AI be a resource to newsrooms with declining revenues? Will it take away jobs or free up already-overworked journalists to produce high quality stories?
What Is AI? What is NLP?
First, let’s clarify some definitions. AI refers to the capacity of machines to perform tasks that are usually linked to human cognition and intelligence. In the context of journalism, AI typically refers to applications that analyze, understand and generate text without human intervention.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a subset of AI that focuses on the interaction between computers and humans through natural language. It is also worth noting that “natural language” refers to languages spoken by humans, such as English, in contrast to programming languages like Python.
Much of the discussion around AI in journalism is based on NLP capabilities. It is through NLP that AI helps journalists summarize articles, translate content and corroborate information. Essentially, all AI applications that use our everyday language are made possible by NLP.