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Is AI a threat or an opportunity for a freelance journalist?

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3 Reviews 5/5
Hotel & Cruise Blogger, Travel Scandinavia

Even last year, I didn't consider artificial intelligence (AI) a threat to a travel journalist. Artificial intelligence applications seemed clumsy, and open-source language models primarily silly.

I have made an effort to research and follow the development. Although I see a lot of opportunities, I also see threats that the price of billable work will collapse either directly when artificial intelligence replaces a human as a writer or when artificial intelligence makes it possible for people who previously could not write publishable articles.

Have you noticed that the number of articles produced directly with artificial intelligence has increased? Or that there has been a significant decrease in writing fees?

An example of an artificial intelligence (AI) application that already creates publishable articles for some uses is, for instance, Surfer. What worries me the most is the pace of development. When the content it writes is already so good, how good will it be next year?

I tested Surfer; it created an article about the Tallinn Maritime Museum. The text was practically publishable as it is and, at least in my opinion, factually correct. Check out the article; what do you think?
www.travelwithtimo.com/single-post/exploring-the-maritime-museum-a-guide-to-the-seaplane-harbour-in-tallinn-estonia

The photos in the article are mine.

13 days ago
Videographer, Photographer, and Writer., WriteNow Communications

I would not consider the article acceptable. It is nothing more than a brochure puff piece certainly not of journalistic quality. But then a lot of travel writing is no better.

12 days ago
Hotel & Cruise Blogger, Travel Scandinavia

Indeed. When I read nowadays travel magazines, they are full of lists, random recommendations, and other content that could be written by a machine.

12 days ago
Head Chef, Travelfish Pty Ltd

I think the museum piece is clearly AI-authored, but, as you say, the product will improve with time. Is it a threat to travel writing? Depends what sort of writing you’re talking about. Service writing, absolutely. Copy that serves no serious purpose other than to cause the reader to click on an ad or affiliate link, yup. Longform creative stuff, not so much.

11 days ago
Hotel & Cruise Blogger, Travel Scandinavia

Easy money for a writer - brochures, web content, newsletters etc will be much harder to harvest.

11 days ago
Head Chef, Travelfish Pty Ltd

Sorry I don’t know what you mean. The sort of writing you mention is the sort of thing I think AI will gobble up. Think if that sort of writing is a mainstay of a writer’s income, it won’t be a year from now.

10 days ago
Founder, I Want That Flight

Not being a freelance journalist I cannot comment personally, but I think this article is relevant:
arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/09/ai-took-my-job-literally-gizmodo-fires-spanish-staff-amid-switch-to-ai-translator

From the article:
"Last week, Gizmodo parent company G/O Media fired the staff of its Spanish-language site Gizmodo en Español and began to replace their work with AI translations of English-language articles, "

On August 31, Zavia wrote, "Hello friends. On Tuesday they shut down @GizmodoES to turn it into a translation self-publisher (an AI took my job, literally)."

If AI is taking the jobs of permanent staff, I am guessing it is making inroads into freelance work as well.

13 days ago (edited)
Co - Founder of Textomap.com, Textomap

I think the examples shown here pretty much sum it up. The creativity and opinions of people cannot be replaced by AI. Translations and other repetitive task yes… I’m working a lot with AI travel wise and as far as content I’m not blown away. We use it to do tasks that would otherwise take a long time

13 days ago
Hotel & Cruise Blogger, Travel Scandinavia

in a translating point of view, the game has already changed. Luckily I'm not in that business. This Gizmodo example is worried in another way; there's no localized content any more.

12 days ago
Aspiring travel blogger & writer, Home in the World

I'm in the translation business and can confirm it is definitely having a huge impact this year. Hope freelance writing doesn't go the same way.

6 days ago
Hotel & Cruise Blogger, Travel Scandinavia

Do you think translation will be replaced totally by AI, or is there fields where human can still beat AI?

6 days ago (edited)
Aspiring travel blogger & writer, Home in the World

I think some areas, such as more technical texts, definitely will be. Literature and other texts requiring more literary nuance may take longer, but who knows. Platforms like DeepL are already quite sophisticated. AI has become a huge topic of discussion in the industry lately. Several of the professional associations I am part of are doing their best to advocate for human translation, but ultimately many companies just want to cut costs, even at the expense of quality (and sometimes accuracy too). It's quite a worrying time for the industry overall. I've been in it as a freelancer for over 17 years and this is the first time I have ever been genuinely concerned about my future income stream from it.

6 days ago
Publisher Acquisition & Development, Awin

I've now seen articles with AI generated images as well. I've argued that with the authors who responded with "What's your problem? You actually expect me to go to all of these places?" There will be issues for sure.

12 days ago
Hotel & Cruise Blogger, Travel Scandinavia

Oh my. But for sure, why travel at all?

12 days ago
Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

If we're talking about journalism in the sense of presenting news (e.g. thing that are happening in the real world that affect people's lives), then AI is more likely to be a tool that can assist a journalist than replace them.

I'd argue that the majority of travel writing these days is not journalism — it's storytelling, or PR (or a mixture of both). If the point of the article is to get traffic so people can click on an ad (as @travelfish mentioned), then we're probably talking about copywriting. Is AI a threat to copywriting jobs? Absolutely.

Back to journalism. Digging out information from the real-world that is relevant to people's lives needs humans, so I don't believe this job is directly under threat (yet) from AI. However real news and information is probably indirectly threatened by AI due to the volume of synthetic content being created (e.g. signal:noise ratio).

PS: There were some good comments on a similar discussion thread earlier this year.


10 days ago
Hotel & Cruise Blogger, Travel Scandinavia

For most freelancer writers the reality is dualism. Copywriting tasks have been kind of easy money as well as translating gigs compared to long-form articles.

10 days ago
Founder, BetterTravel.AI

This distinction between journalism, storytelling, and SEO copywriting is spot on. Right now, AI can only act on the last format, although I'd expect that specialized tools will be able to assist content creators on the other forms soon.

4 days ago

depends with a persons mentality and experience... it can be an opportunity for a freelancer when you use it well and not good when others use it well to outperform you.

9 days ago
Travel blogger, Travel with Enock and Jaqi

AI in Journalism: A Blessing for Freelance Journalists

As a journalist who has witnessed the transformative power of technology, I firmly believe that AI is an incredible opportunity rather than a threat for freelance journalists like myself. In a world where information travels at the speed of light, embracing AI is akin to a seasoned traveler acquiring the latest gear before embarking on an expedition.

In the realm of journalism, AI serves as a powerful tool that can enhance our capabilities and provide us with a significant edge. Just as the Marines employ advanced equipment in warfare to gain an advantage over their adversaries, we, as professional journalists, can harness the potential of AI to excel in our field.

While AI is undoubtedly a boon for freelance journalists, it's essential to remember that it complements our skills rather than replacing them. The human touch, intuition, and ethical judgment are irreplaceable in journalism. AI can aid us in our quest for truth, but it's our responsibility to wield this tool ethically and responsibly.

In conclusion, AI is not a threat but a valuable ally for freelance journalists. It empowers us to navigate the ever-evolving media landscape with precision and innovation, ensuring that we continue to deliver high-quality, relevant, and engaging content to our audience. Embrace AI, and let it be the wind beneath your journalistic wings as you soar to new heights in your career.

6 days ago
Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

"There is a 62% probability this text was entirely written by AI" according to gptzero.me 🤨

6 days ago (edited)
Travel blogger, Travel with Enock and Jaqi

Interesting!

5 days ago
Founder, Birchys Berlin Tours

I think A.I. will interrupt many industries but it creates opportunities as well.

3 days ago
Podcaster, Non-stop Traveler, The Radio Vagabond

AI can be both a threat and an opportunity for freelance journalists, depending on how it is harnessed and integrated into their work.

Opportunities:

Data Analysis and Research:
AI can assist journalists in sifting through large volumes of data quickly. It can help identify trends, anomalies, and patterns, enabling journalists to uncover newsworthy stories or provide in-depth analysis.

Automation of Routine Tasks:
AI can automate repetitive tasks such as transcribing interviews or summarizing articles, allowing journalists to focus on more creative and critical aspects of their work.

Audience Engagement:
AI-powered tools can help journalists better understand their audience's preferences and behaviors, allowing for more targeted content creation and distribution.

Content Generation:
AI-generated content, such as sports scores or financial reports, can supplement a journalist's work and free up time for more investigative or human-interest stories.

Fact-Checking:
AI can aid in fact-checking and identifying misinformation, enhancing the accuracy and credibility of journalism.

Threats:
Job Displacement:
AI's ability to automate certain tasks may lead to job displacement for journalists who primarily engage in routine reporting and data analysis.

Ethical Concerns:
AI can be used to generate deepfake content, manipulate images, or spread disinformation. Journalists must be vigilant in verifying sources and content.

Privacy Concerns:
AI-driven data analysis tools can raise concerns about privacy and surveillance. Journalists need to navigate these issues carefully when using AI in their work.

Quality and Bias:
AI-generated content may lack the depth, nuance, and context that human journalists can provide. Moreover, AI algorithms can inherit biases present in the data they are trained on, potentially leading to biased reporting.

So, AI offers freelance journalists powerful tools for research, data analysis, and audience engagement. However, it also poses challenges related to job displacement, ethics, and bias. Freelance journalists should embrace AI as a complement to their skills, using it to enhance their work while remaining vigilant about its limitations and potential risks. Ultimately, how AI is integrated into journalism will depend on responsible usage and a commitment to upholding journalistic integrity.

This was written by ChatGPT. Sorry, guys... I couldn't help myself.
:-)

Now it's all me
I heard someone say: "AI won't replace you. You will be replaced by someone using AI."
I use ChatGPT as a starting point when I'm working on my podcast (The Radio Vagabond), but just as a starting point. I work a lot with it and change the tone of voice to what is right for me.
And then I have to fact-check it. I've had it make up stuff.

When working on an episode from Liechtenstein, I asked it to write a funny text about the city of Vaduz – in a funny style.

Most things were right, but then it talked about "the big rubber duckie statue on the main square." I thought... "hmmm, I missed that," but then (when I asked more into it), it said. "No, there's no rubber duckie. I just made it up to be funny".

yesterday