‘Journalists fueling the hype around AI’


Melissa Heikkilä, a senior reporter for MIT Technology Review, reflects on her four years covering artificial intelligence (AI). She finds the diversity of stories within the AI beat fascinating, with a plethora of intriguing individuals to write about. However, she also notes that mainstream media coverage of AI often falls short, with exaggerated claims and anthropomorphizing of AI technologies.

In early 2022, AI was a relatively low-searched term on Google, but by the end of the year, it had surged in popularity. This increased attention brings a responsibility for accurate reporting, as highlighted by technology editor Zoe Kleinman.

Mikael Kopteff, chief technology officer at Reaktor, echoes the sentiment that media coverage of AI tends to focus on negative aspects rather than positive uses. He emphasizes the need for journalists to educate the public about AI and dispel misconceptions.

Emily Bell from the Colombia Journalism Tow Center emphasizes the challenges of reporting on AI in today’s fast-paced news cycle, where social media and industry figures contribute to the rapid dissemination of information.

Felix Simon, a doctoral student at Oxford University, praises experienced tech journalists for demystifying AI and moving past sensationalized narratives. However, he stresses the importance of remaining critical and avoiding industry influence in reporting.

David Reid, a professor of AI at Liverpool Hope University, criticizes the simplistic portrayal of AI in the media and calls for more nuanced reporting that acknowledges both the positive and negative aspects of AI.

Overall, experts agree that while AI coverage has improved in some areas, there is still room for growth in providing accurate and balanced reporting on this complex and rapidly evolving technology.

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