Looking at the journalistic landscape over the past year, the fervor surrounding the integration of Generative AI (GenAI) into news practices is undeniable. Ever since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November 2022, artificial intelligence – and large language models and transformer models in particular – have captured the imagination of news professionals worldwide, and their presence in news organisations has become increasingly pervasive. Journalists now leverage generative AI for tasks such as translation, transcription, and data analysis, as well as (visual) content generation to name just a few. On the business front, GenAI has inspired the development of new news products and formats, the improvement of workflows and is explored for tasks such as better personalization.

At the same time, the use of the technology has also led to concerns. Factual errors in the output of LLMs and fears about the effect on audience trust have led many organisations to institute standards and guidelines for the use of AI. Journalists are worried about their jobs and professional identity, while publishers are concerned about the privacy of their data, the viability of their business models and decisions by platform and search giants which could potentially reshape the information ecosystem at large.

One year after the public arrival of generative AI, this panel will take stock of recent developments and launch a debate about the realised and unrealised promises of the technology. Bringing together four AI experts from academia and the news industry, it will address questions such as: What are the lasting uses of and approaches to (open-source) AI systems and models? How have news organisations addressed the regulation of AI use in-house, as well as legal issues around licensing, copyright, privacy, and more? And what are their responses to a changing information ecosystem, as large technology companies adopt AI for everything from product to search, with as of yet untested effects for publishers’ bottom lines? We will conclude with an outlook on future developments in this space.

Moderated by Felix Simon.