The Future of Journalism Conference in Cardiff 2023

In September 2023, members of the AI Media and Democracy Lab participated in the ninth biennial Future of Journalism Conference hosted by the School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC) at Cardiff University in Wales.

The scope of the conference is wide and covers all aspects of journalism. However, it is worth noting that during all sessions, there was at least one panel specifically dedicated to artificial intelligence. This underlines the continually rising importance of AI in journalism.

Lab member Stanislaw Piasecki and academic leader Natali Helberger presented an upcoming paper entitled “A nightmare to control: uncertainties and challenges around the procurement of journalistic AI from external technology providers”. This study is part of the larger ’Towards Responsible AI for Local Journalism’ project supported by the Volkswagen Stiftung foundation.

Based on twelve semi-structured interviews with lawyers, technologists and managers, as well as an analysis of sixteen terms and conditions of companies providing AI systems, this article responds to the following research questions:

  • How are journalistic AI procurement processes perceived by media professionals?
  • How are contractual negotiations conducted in practice?
  • How to improve media organisations’ negotiation power?  
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Lab member Hannes Cools discussed a co-authored article with Prof. Nicholas Diakopoulos entitled “Uses of Generative AI in Newsrooms. Mapping the Perils and Possibilities of Generative AI-tools”. This research evaluates the specific work processes during which generative AI systems are used by journalists, which possibilities and challenges are associated with the latter, and what are the conditions for responsible use of GAI in newsrooms.

Finally, Lab member Mathias Felipe presented two upcoming studies:

  • The article “Defining responsible AI in journalism: Reporters’ perceptions on automated decision-making and algorithmic bias”, co-authored with Dr. Tomas Dodds, and Dr. Astrid Vandendaele;
  • A paper entitled “The Philanthrocapitalism of Google News Initiative in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East – Empirical Reflections”, co-authored with Dr. Lucia Mesquita, Dr. Allen Munoriyarwa and Dr. Adeola Abdulateef Elega.