Dr J. Scott Brennen
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
UK media coverage of artificial intelligence is dominated by industry products, announcements and research, according to a new study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in collaboration with the Oxford Internet Institute. Coverage frequently amplifies self-interested assertions of AI’s value and potential, while positioning AI primarily as a private commercial concern and undercutting the role of public action in addressing AI.
The factsheet, An Industry-Led Debate: How UK Media Cover Artificial Intelligence, is based on an analysis of eight months of reporting on AI, in six mainstream UK news outlets.
The report’s lead author, J. Scott Brennen, said AI coverage has been developing against a background of economic disruption in the media industry, with cuts to speciality reporting, including science and technology journalism. “Despite these challenges, mainstream news outlets remain a key space for, and influence on, public discussion.
“However, by amplifying industry’s self-interested claims about AI, media coverage presents AI as a solution to a range of problems that will disrupt nearly all areas of our lives, often without acknowledging ongoing debates concerning AI’s potential effects. In this way, coverage also positions AI mostly as a private commercial concern and undercuts the role and potential of public action in addressing this emerging public issue,” Brennen said.
Read the full report here on the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism website.