AI Spotlight Series will train 1,000 journalists on reporting on technology responsibility

*Por Andrew Deck

O Pulitzer Center officially launched the The AI Spotlight Series (The AI ​​Spotlight series, in English phrase), a new training initiative that aims to teach 1,000 journalists how to report on the responsibility of artificial intelligence over the next 2 years.

On April 21, around 40 journalists gathered at the University of California, Berkeley, for the inaugural “Introduction to AI Reporting” session, which was designed to demystify basic concepts of the tool for non-AI reporters. technology area.

“I had this hypothesis that if journalists could understand the fundamentals, they would naturally start to make connections and think of more story ideas.”these Karen Haothe series’ lead designer and contributing writer for The Atlanticwho spent years covering the rise of AI in MIT Technology Review e no The Wall Street Journal. “I was watching them do it in real time.”

The AI ​​Spotlight Series stands out for more than its sheer scale. The Pulitzer Center is explicitly prioritizing journalists from outside North America and Western Europe when organizing training sessions.

“Much of the AI ​​coverage is done by the northern hemisphere with a focus on itself. To me, we are missing such a huge part of history.”said Hao, who reported a Pulitzer Center-supported series on AI colonialism during his time at Tech Review. “If we want a technology to be so important to truly benefit all of humanity – like OpenAI likes to say – the best way to understand how to do this is to focus on the most vulnerable communities that have had less say in shaping technologies until now”.

While some of the world’s biggest AI developers may be based in Silicon Valley, the supply chain that powers their products goes far beyond California. This includes data workers at Venezuelano Pakistan and in Filipinaswho help produce the training sets that are fed into AI models, and content moderators in Kenyaimprove the tools created with them.

Increasingly, reports also show that contract and temporary workers in the Global South feel the impact of early adoption when AI technologies enter the workforce, whether through work commuteyes worker surveillance or the algorithm management.

“We need to take a global approach to this coverage, with these trainings and literacy work, otherwise we will perpetuate the same approach that the AI ​​sector has taken”these Marina Walker Guevaraexecutive editor of the Pulitzer Center. “This is our challenge”.

The AI ​​Spotlight Series will be held simultaneously across three tracks, with each type of training session aimed at a different category of journalist. A 1st track will mainly focus on reporters who do not work with technology and who may not have had prior contact with the basic concepts of AI.

“When it comes to technology reporting, in general, there are a lot of gatekeeping jargonthese Lam Thuy Voinvestigative reporter for The Markup and one of the co-authors of the series. “People are using important terms like deep learning, neural networks, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and so on”. Lam Thuy says this 1st layer of training – effectively AI reporting 101 – will help reporters understand “the basic plumbing of the tool”. The goal is to make them confident enough to investigate the ways in which these technologies operate in their respective editorials and in the communities they cover.

Imagining possible participants for the 1st track, Hao suggested a breaking news reporter covering the latest tweet from Elon Muska healthcare reporter tracking how AI is being inserted into a hospital system, or, a political journalist anxiously covering serious fraud before an election day. “If there was no targeting, we would be missing a huge part of the coverage that is shaping public discourse”she said.

A 2nd trail is app-based and will feature a group of reporters well-acquainted with artificial intelligence coverage. These longer, more in-depth sessions are limited to 25 to 30 journalists, who will be trained to conduct more technical investigations on other topics, such as algorithmic bias.

Hao and Lam’s main concern is for these reporters to avoid metaphors and pitfalls common in reporting on AI. One of the goals of its coverage is to stop flattening the complexity of this network of technologies into just ChatGPT or Give her. Hao points out that many of the newsworthy artificial intelligence technologies affecting healthcare, policing, and climate change have little or nothing to do with generative AI.

A final track will target editors, called by Marina Walker the “gatekeepers” of AI liability coverage.

The Spotlight Series is hosted at AI Accountability Network from the Pulitzer Center, a program launched in 2022 to support the work of journalists investigating predictive and surveillance technology around the world. Walker says that historically, many reporters on the show have had difficulty pitching their stories to editors at more traditional publications, including local news outlets.

According to Walker, editors’ most common responses to AI-related proposals include: “This sounds fascinating, but we don’t cover technology” or “Let me introduce you to my friend from Wired. Many network reporters end up publishing their articles in publications dedicated to technology, such as MIT Technology Review, The Verge or Rest of World. Then Walker said: “No, no, this is about your city, this is happening in your backyard, this should interest you.”

Marina Walker hopes that these specific sessions, which are also limited and require registration, will bring more editors into the work of AI accountability. Sessions are designed to guide editors on framing stories that are not exclusively about “technology” but also about work, politics, immigration, policy, education, or criminal justice.

“I wouldn’t want us to train every reporter on the show very successfully and then have them come into the newsroom and have to work really hard to get buy-in from the editors.”, said Hao. For better or worse, an editor’s knowledge of the topic shapes coverage and resource allocation. “We want to help them make high-level strategic decisions about where to place their investments. What stories do they put multiple reporters or the graphics team on? How do they do a big investigation or bet on a feature?”

While the AI ​​Spotlight Series welcomes any journalist to participate or register, the registration page explicitly states that it will prioritize those “from the southern hemisphere and communities underrepresented in the media”. This feeling is more than a mere expression. In-person workshops have already been scheduled for the International Media Conference (International Media Conference, in the English phrase) in Manila, Philippines (USA), from June 23 to 26, and for the Gabo Festival in Bogotá (Colombia), from July 5th to 7th. The Pulitzer Center is also promoting African Investigative Journalism Conference in South Africa in November and the annual forum Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism), in Amman (Jordan), in December.

Between sessions, the series will hold virtual workshops on Zoom in multiple time zones to facilitate participation by journalists from across Asia, rather than in Western journalism hubs such as New York (US) and London (UK).

The initial list of sessions is in English, but the Pulitzer Center also has plans to launch live simultaneous translation in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Indonesian. Marina Walker noted that requests have already been received to add additional languages, including Arabic. The first sessions in languages ​​other than English will begin this fall.

Most notably, all AI Spotlight Series sessions are free to register for each of the 1,000+ targeted participants over the next two years. In addition to the Pulitzer Center, the series also has the support of MacArthur Foundationyes Ford Foundation It’s from Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab.

Hao said all co-designers agreed in advance to accept a salary reduction if additional course funding was not obtained. “We didn’t want to risk the sessions not being free, as that would defeat the purpose”she said. “We don’t want this to be exclusive knowledge by any means.”

*Andrew Deck is a writer on the Generative AI team at Nieman Lab.

Text translated by Yasmin Isbert. Read the original in English.

O Poder360 has a partnership with two divisions of Nieman Foundationof Harvard: o Nieman Journalism Lab and the Nieman Reports. The agreement consists of translating into Portuguese the texts that Nieman Journalism Lab and Nieman Reports publish and publishing this material on Poder360. To access all translations already published, click here.


Leave a Reply