Media Foundation

Gufa Talk Series: Artificial Intelligence and Journalism in Nepal

Feb 23, 2019

Will robots replace journalists?

Manoj Shakya, an engineering academician, raised this question at a program organized by Media Foundation (MF) on February 22, 2019.

In the program titled “Artificial Intelligence and Journalism in Nepal,” Shakya, an assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Kathmandu University, explained about artificial intelligence (AI) and highlighted the areas where AI has been used (video below).

Shakya shared examples on technological transformations in journalism and on the growth of automated journalism.

“In the USA, automated journalism is more popular while reporting sports, stocks exchange, earthquakes,” Shakya said.

In its broader applications, AI is becoming popular in self driving cars, chatbots and navigation.

“Enormous data is necessary for the growth and development of AI,” Shakya said, and as big data is increasingly available these days,  “AI is getting popular now.” In Nepal, he observed, since we still have much work to do in digitizing data, it may take some more years to begin to apply AI in journalism.

Shakya also dismissed the fear that journalists might be replaced by AI. It will make journalists’ work easier, freeing up their time for more substantive works like like analysis, and storytelling.

On his thanksgiving note, Dr. Dharma Adhikari, chairperson of MF, said journalism is witnessing another big leap with AI as global news outlets have started going automated.

“Informally, 2018 was the year of AI in journalism; many global outlets have gone automated,” he said. “But in Nepal we have just started discussing on this.”

Dr. Adhikari also informed about the launch of the Innovation Lab at MF.

This was the second program in the Gufa Talk series. The series is linked with Media Gufa, a new media-based experiential reporting & writing event where participants are secluded for a rigorous 72-hour session to write stories on the spot.


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