Dhenkanal: “In the past decade and a half, as media companies have sped up their adoption of artificial intelligence in the process of content development and delivery, the debate over whether this technology is an existential threat to the very existence of the medium has only intensified. AI algorithms have now been widely adopted to create images and compose music, to even create and edit videos, write news articles etc. We are witnessing an axiological shift as we face new challenges in our endeavour to leverage a technology that mimics human thinking and behaviour, but not exactly human,” said Dr. Umashankar Pandey, Associate Professor at Surendranath College for Women, Kolkata at the 7th “Prof. KM Shrivastava Memorial Lecture,” on the topic “Artificial Intelligence and Journalism.”
Professor Shrivastava, one of the most well-known names in the Indian media academic circle, died on 28th August 2015, at the age of 63. Prior to leading the centre and the Regional Director for two consecutive years, he spent more than 25 years as a professor at IIMC Dhenkanal. In addition, Prof. Shrivastava is also the author of a dozen of books, including ‘News Reporting and Editing,’ ‘Broadcast Journalism in the Twenty-First Century,’ ‘News Agencies: From Pigeon to Internet,’ and ‘Radio and TV Journalism.’ He is cherished for being a man with a strong sense of mission on the path he had taken in life. Respectfully remembered by his coworkers for his tenacity and incredibly sharp sense of humour.
Speaking at the online event, Dr. Pandey went on to discuss the relevance of artificial intelligence as a catalyst for change in praxis which will facilitate targeted problem solving and expedite both the production and distribution process by leaps and bounds. Artificial intelligence as a technology, he continued, “is supposed to empower us in our endeavours, not determine our bounds. It can help us live better, progress as a people, and achieve better results in both our personal and professional life.” The application of artificial intelligence in journalism and the media, according to Dr. Pandey, has grown in popularity in recent years. “More journalists and editors are currently investigating the possibility of utilizing AI to improve the accessibility, engagement, and interactivity of news items. Meanwhile, Dr. Pandey noted, “AI solutions seem promising in enabling journalists in becoming more objective, particularly when it comes to covering stories about conflict and disaster.
Later, Professor (Dr.) Mrinal Chatterjee discussed the crucial ethical challenges surrounding AI and offered specific solutions by advocating for the creation of reliable AI technologies and constructing a common ethical AI value framework that is primarily focused on humans. “Despite the enormous promise of artificial intelligence, the status of AI research at the moment is far from sufficient, particularly in terms of ethical and social issues. We must, therefore, take charge of the ethical and social components of AI to safeguard the benefits and limit the harms that this technology will bring,” he concluded.
Both teaching and non-teaching employees from IIMC Dhenkanal Campus attended the memorial talk. The regional directors of the IIMC campuses in Kottayam and Aizawl, Dr. S. Anil Kumar and L. R. Sailo were also present at the lecture. Bhavna Acharya, assistant professor at IIMC Dhenkanal, delivered the vote of thanks.