Survey finds majority of news consumers in the U.S. and U.K. are uncomfortable with AI use in journalism
06/24/2024 // Laura Harris // Views

A recent survey has found that the majority of news consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom are uncomfortable with the use of artificial intelligence in news production.

The survey was conducted by the Oxford-based think tank and research center the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) among 2,000 people in each country. It revealed that 53 percent of U.S. and 63 percent of U.K. respondents expressed uneasiness with AI-generated news, especially on sensitive topics such as politics and crime.

Only 23 percent of respondents in the U.S. and a mere 10 percent in the U.K. would feel comfortable with AI-generated news. Meanwhile, 18 percent of those surveyed from both countries indicated they would neither be comfortable nor uncomfortable with AI-generated journalism.

Moreover, concerns about the spread of fake news online have surged among respondents, with 59 percent being worried, up three percentage points from the previous year. This anxiety is particularly pronounced in South Africa and the U.S., where 81 percent and 72 percent of respondents, respectively, are troubled by misinformation as both nations approach elections.

However, respondents show the least resistance towards AI-generated, text-based content, illustrations and stylized graphics rather than the use of AI for creating realistic-looking photographs and videos. (Related: NewsBreak app slammed for using AI to write FAKE NEWS.)

"Our findings show audiences are most open to AI uses that are behind the scenes and areas where AI can help improve their experiences using news, providing more personalized and accessible information," the RISJ stated in its annual Digital News Report accompanying the survey. "They are less comfortable when it comes to public-facing content, sensitive or important topics, and synthetic videos or images that may come across as real, and where the consequences of error are viewed as most consequential. Overall, there is consensus that a human should always be in the loop and complete automation should be off limits."

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But then, the findings still shocked Nic Newman, a senior research associate at RISJ and lead author of the report

"The level of suspicion was surprising," said Newman. "People broadly had fears about what might happen to content reliability and trust."

Social media influencers now steal the spotlight from traditional journalism

These findings come at a time when newsrooms worldwide are increasingly adopting AI technologies, developed by tech giants and startups alike like Google and OpenAI, in response to declining revenues and the need to increase output without incurring substantial operational costs.

Different news outlets have implemented AI tools, capable of generating information summaries, for tasks ranging from research and transcribing interviews to content creation. These tools risk diverting traffic from traditional news websites.

For instance, in 2023, Michael Miller, executive chairman of media conglomerate News Corp Australia, revealed that the company was producing approximately 3,000 news articles a week using AI.

Similarly, the German tabloid Bild, while announcing a 100 million euro ($107 million) cost-cutting program that same year, warned staff about potential further cuts due to the "opportunities" afforded to the company by AI.

But instead of building trust and connection with audiences, the survey reveals that among over 5,600 TikTok users surveyed, 57 percent said they primarily follow individual personalities for news, compared to 34 percent who follow journalists or news brands.

One notable influencer is Vitus "V" Spehar, a TikTok creator with 3.1 million followers known for delivering daily headlines while lying under a desk, offers a gentler perspective on current events. This is sharply in contrast with traditional news anchors.

Meanwhile, RISJ's Digital News Report reveals that following personalities known for political commentary rather than original news gathering has become a trend among U.S. repondents. High-profile figures such as former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, top Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan and progressive talk radio host David Pakman were frequently mentioned.

Visit for more stories about the ever-changing landscape of journalism.

Watch this video about Elon Musk warning that AI will surpass humanity if it isn't stopped.

This video is from the AmazingAI channel on

More related stories:

Los Angeles-based TV channel set to launch AI news anchors in 2024.

Mainstream publications collude with AI company to load searches with fake, AI-generated content.

Technology news website describes Microsoft’s AI chatbot as an emotionally manipulative liar.

Sports Illustrated caught publishing articles created by non-existent AI-generated writers.

Cybersecurity expert successfully builds PROPAGANDA MACHINE that can mass produce AI-generated DISINFORMATION.

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