Former Google News Director Admits Big Tech Is Killing Journalism

Between many massive rounds of industry layoffs, a changing technological landscape, and increasingly eroding public trust in the news, the future of journalism is muddier than ever. And according to one former Big Tech executive? Big Tech’s current project, generative AI, might put a nail in the media’s coffin — or at the very least, fundamentally change what journalism is and how it’s consumed. In an opinion column for The Washington Post, ex-Googler Jim Albrecht — who until 2023 was the senior director for the search giant and major AI player’s news ecosystem products division — argues that AI is the real “wolf” that threatens the business of journalism. Ever since the internet rose to prominence, the media industry has bickered with tech giants over things like search results and compensation models; but with AI now able to both paraphrase and deliver news, argues Albrecht, these qualms may already be mute. “To me, watching publishers bicker about payment for search results while [large language models (LLMs)] advanced at a silent, frenetic pace,” Albrecht recalled, “was like watching people squabble about the floral arrangements at an outdoor wedding while the largest storm cloud you can imagine moves silently closer.” And now, due to this “new technology,” the ex-Googler continues, we’re entering a digital world in which platforms “might not need to link to news sites at all — they can just take the news, have a robot rewrite it and publish it in their own products.” In other words, if chatbots become…Former Google News Director Admits Big Tech Is Killing Journalism

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