Not many may know the international word „robot“ is of the Czech origins. Over the hundred years ago Czech author Karel Čapek first used it in his drama R.U.R. to describe artificial humans that eventually became intelligent enough to take over the human society. Although today it does not seem that such prediction should become real, we are witnessing a widespread penetration of artificial intelligence into various areas of society with journalism being one of them.
AI helps journalists to analyze a large amount of data, to search social media and find important topics, and even sometimes substitute journalist by articulating articles from sport, finances, elections, etc.
The first commercially used of AI system for automatic text generation in editorial practice is Quill software, developed by Narrative Science, founded in 2010 by professors of computer science and journalism K. Hammond and L. Birnbaum from Northwestern University in Chicago. Since then the use of AI has become quite common in the American and UK newsrooms.
In the Czech Republic, we can name only a few examples of the use of automated systems that would help journalists or generate journalistic text.
Our project wants to introduce and study AI journalism in the Czech Republic. The goal of the project is twofold. Within two years, it will develop and practically apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) editorial system of automated journalism in Czech language.
It will also research selected journalism ethics attributes related to the advent of AI, including a method of verification and authorization of AI-generated content, an ethical conflict between velocity and accuracy, and redefinition of the role of journalists in the newsrooms that embrace automated journalism.
Findings of this research should offer the instructions for practical application of AI editorial system into Czech media environment. These instructions will build on the principles of social responsibility and will provide an innovative method for journalism education in the Czech Republic.
The project has been funded The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TACR) that supports research, experimental development, and innovation.