Artificial intelligence (AI) makes delivering information interesting.

So said GMA Integrated News assistant vice president and deputy head for social media Aileen Rae Perez, who was one of the panelists during the GMA Masterclass Series held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.

The masterclass, led by media practitioners from GMA Integrated News, delved into “Journalism in the age of AI.”

As generative AI technology gains prominence, the journalism industry is grappling with inquiries regarding its continued significance in the era of AI.

However, the panelists, particularly Perez, emphasized that AI makes delivering information interesting.

“Through AI we are learning new ways of delivering facts and information. We need to evolve or else we will dissolve. AI makes delivering information interesting,” she said.

Generative AI, akin to a double-edged sword, can serve as a valuable tool for not only journalists but also other media professionals, provided it is wielded with discretion and a commitment to upholding community values and interests.

Veteran journalist, host and documentarist Howie Severino, for his part, emphasized that it is not the first time that journalists made use of AI. From searches in the information-gathering process to using other AI tools in word translations, and audio transcriptions, reporters have already taken advantage of this tool years ago.

Yet, the crucial distinction lies in the latest AI breakthrough: the ability to generate plagiarism-free content.

Ultimately, Severino stressed that reporters retain the ultimate authority in aligning AI usage with their work’s promoted values.

AI cannot conduct on-field source interviews, but it can expedite tasks and boost reporters’ productivity.

“We are here not for just a show. This is a chance to reinforce democratic values through this event, service to the truth, a recommitment to the powerful tools of AI,” said Severino.

Aside from Severino and Perez, GMA news anchor and host Pia Arcangel and GMA Regional TV news correspondent Nikko Sereno also answered questions from the students during the open forum.

“Maging matalino tayo sa paggamit ng platforms, nung AI. Sana yung matutunan ninyo na knowledge sa paggamit ng generative AI (use it to) change the world and make it a better place,” said Perez.

The Masterclass special of GMA is part of the celebration of Cebu Press Freedom Week.

Cebu Press Freedom Week, now in its 31st year, has given media professionals, aspiring journalists and the general public the chance to come together to talk about topics that have an impact on how people acquire their news and how journalism is practiced.

For aspiring communicators and journalists, it has served as a symbol of enlightenment, knowledge and inspiration.

“I have learned a lot from the forum, especially that we need to adapt to the AI world. As journalists, it is our job to teach people how to discern AI-generated (content),” said Glory Carmel V. Lazaro, a third-year Communication student at Cebu Normal University. (WBS, CAV)