NUJ expresses grave concern over AI generated story on refugees

  • 25 Jul 2023

The NUJ has reaffirmed its position that AI is no substitute for journalism, following publication of an AI generated story titled “Should refugees in Ireland go home?”

The article published in the Limerick Leader and other titles owned bythe Iconic Media Group has been criticised by the NUJ. Its title “Should refugees in Ireland go home” has  been been altered to “Can we trust artificial intelligence?” but has led to grave concern by the NUJ and wider public. 

The piece labelled as generated using ChatGPT also seeks views. 

Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary, said:

“The NUJ would have a grave concern at the use of AI generated material in this fashion. The disclaimer at the beginning of the article confirms the limitations of AI in terms of providing informed research and analysis.

“The heading "Should refugees in Ireland go home" is classic clickbait and is designed to be provocative. Asylum seekers granted refugee status in Ireland under international law are granted a new home and the notion of asking if they should "go home" seems intended to fuel a debate similar to that generated in the UK. 

“While the article seems relatively benign the question is loaded and is a classic trope. A journalist writing such a story would examine the local and national context, talk to relevant agencies and NGOs and perhaps discuss personal stories. The article largely ignores the human dimension, the pain and suffering of those forced to flee persecution or human rights abuses, the complex reasons why people seek asylum and the reasons why refugees may not be in a position to "go home". 

“AI is no substitute for genuine journalism carried out by intelligent human beings paid a decent salary and enjoying proper working conditions."

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