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Union urges bosses to heed journalists’ caution over AI

seamus-dooleyUnion chiefs have called for industry bosses to heed journalists’ warnings about the use of artificial intelligence.

The National Union of Journalists has said concerns over AI “must not be ignored”.

Regional publishers have begun experimenting with the use of robots to complement their reporting in recent months,

However, the pitfalls of AI have also been exposed recently byy HTFP’s probe into the Bournemouth Observer – a website launched using fake journalist profiles and robot-generated stories.

NUJ assistant general secretary Séamus Dooley, pictured, wrote in the Morning Star: “With a background in print journalism and in my role as an NUJ official, I am acutely aware of the changes wrought in the print industry.

“Artificial intelligence is of a new order and has implications beyond the workplace, leaving imprints on our daily lives as consumers, as citizens, as parents in every sphere of activity.

“While unions must remain cognisant of the opportunities AI presents for workers when used ethically, the chorus of caution from journalists, creators and artists alike must not be ignored.

“Across creative sectors and beyond, employers are introducing technologies without trade union engagement and policies to support safeguarding.

“The reinforcement of bias through the use of AI in recruitment and selection procedures is a reality which cannot be dismissed.

“The NUJ and TUC are rightly calling for the protection of workers’ rights to remain at the centre of advancements and the European Trade Union Confederation has been to the fore in demanding that human beings must be in control of workplace machines.”