In five years, this headline will be written by AI

Barling with Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum.
Updated 12 February 2019

In five years, this headline will be written by AI

  • Artificial intelligence would restore the golden age of journalism, Knowhere news sites co-founder tells World Government Summit
  • Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief emeritus “ says AI will make it easier to work in newsrooms by fighting false news

DUBAI: News headlines across the globe in five years will be drafted by artificial intelligence, Knowhere news site’s co-founder and editor-in-chief said on Monday.

“Artificial intelligence in the newsroom reduces the cost of production, so the individual will not have to pay much for information,” Nathaniel Barling said, adding that AI “would restore the golden age of journalism.”

Speaking at a session on “Automation: Breaking the News” at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Barling said: “Newspapers have lost control because people are now relying on social networks.”

“Newsrooms need to fundamentally transform their revenue models, and re-image the profession of journalism as a whole,” he said.

Barling also spoke of the need for free access to information for all, and said that while paywalls did not affect the quality of journalism, they did allow for more fake news to be spread more easily.

“Paywalls do not hurt the quality of reporting and more consumers are now willing to pay for in-depth long-form content, yet it also raises the question of hiding information from some,” he said.

“Good information is coming to those who pay for it, but this is not the world in which we want to live.”

As AI enters workplaces across several domains, other journalists believe the technology could be detrimental to newsrooms.

Gerard Baker, editor-at-large of The Wall Street Journal, questioned whether artificial intelligence will threaten or strengthen confidence in newsrooms.

“Can we rely on algorithms to settle the big disputes across the globe?” he asked.

However, Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief emeritus, said: “Artificial intelligence will make it easier to work in newsrooms by fighting false news.

“Fake news is not a new phenomenon, and the advent of AI will evolve the newsroom, but not threaten it,” he said.

Mina Al-Oraibi, editor-in-chief of The National in the UAE, said that journalists were being strengthened by AI, which allowed them to focus on the story instead of on sources of information.

“Journalists are now feeling the threat of artificial intelligence, so they are focusing on how much the news is more influential than its accuracy,” she said.


REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

Updated 17 August 2019

REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

CHENNAI: The first season of “Sacred Games” last year was a hit, and the second edition, which began streaming on Netflix on Aug. 15, may be even more so.

The eight episodes explore some of India's most pressing current issues such as a nuclear threat, terrorism and inter-religious animosity dating back to the country's 1947 partition. It. It also addresses how religious men can indulge in the most unholy of acts, including helping corrupt politicians.

Some of the greatest films have had conflict and war as their backdrop: “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” “Ben-Hur” and “Garam Hawa,” to mention a few. The second season of “Sacred Games” also unfolds in such a scenario, with terrorism and inter-communal disharmony having a rippling effect on the nation.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap (“Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Black Friday”) and Neeraj Ghaywan (“Masaan,” which premiered at Cannes in 2015), the web series, based on Vikram Chandra's 2006 novel, unfolds with Ganesh Gaitonde (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) escaping from prison and finding himself in Mombasa. He has been carted there by an agent of India's

Research and Analysis Wing, Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash), who forces him to help find Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey), the mastermind behind bomb blasts and terror attacks.

In Mumbai, police inspector Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) has just two weeks to save the city from a nuclear attack, which Gaitonde had warned him about. Both men love Mumbai and do not want it to be destroyed. But religious extremist Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) and his chief disciple Batya Ableman (Kalki Koechlin) believe that only such a catastrophic destruction can help cleanse society and bring a cleaner, saner new order.

A narrative of deceit, betrayal, love and longing, the second season has a plodding start, but picks up steam from the fourth episode, with Sartaj and his men racing against time to find a nuclear time bomb that could wipe out Mumbai. Crude dialogue and a constant doomsday atmosphere could have been avoided, but riveting performances by the lead pair – Khan and Siddiqui (though he is getting typecast in this kind of role) – and nail-biting thrills make this Netflix original dramatically captivating.