Exploring AI and Trust in Media at the EMMA Conference 2023

Natalia Berger and Susannah Montgomery

ChatGPT in the news

At the beginning of June, we had the privilege to participate in the European Media Management Association (EMMA) Conference, held on the 8th and 9th of June at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. With CB cluster manager Jannerieke Hommenga and we (Natalia Berger and Susannah Montgomery) dove headfirst into the conference's theme: "Perspectives on Media Trust".

As media experts assembled from all corners of the globe, we engaged in vibrant discussions and debates, highlighting the profound transformation our media landscape is currently experiencing due to advances in artificial intelligence (AI).

One of the standout moments for us was our presentation on the "hot" topic, "ChatGPT in the News: Examining the socio-technological phenomenon of artificial creativity in Dutch media discourse," as part of the Innovation and Media Trust section. Our work generated a compelling dialogue that extended well beyond our presentation, marking a milestone in the discourse around AI and media. 

Our exploration of ChatGPT, an AI text-generating model developed by OpenAI, underscored AI's intricate and sometimes contentious role in society. The launch of ChatGPT in Dutch print media sparked a multifaceted discourse, oscillating between admiration for its high-quality outputs and anxieties about its broader societal impact. We highlighted the necessity for wider public engagement, a better understanding of AI capabilities, and a shift in our approach towards content production and media management. We also emphasized the urgency for enhanced regulatory frameworks, verification technologies, and informed, interdisciplinary discourse to navigate AI's transformative potential.

EMMA conference 2023

This presentation was linked to our greater needs analysis research for the MediaNumeric Erasmus+ project. This was also an opportunity to promote to our academic peers the upcoming MediaNumeric Academy: an online course to develop crucial data-driven skills in content, journalism and storytelling.

Distinguished speakers like Dr. Eli Noam from Columbia Business School and Professor Emeritus Robert Georges Picard, a senior research fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, enriched the discussions, expanding our understanding of the rapidly evolving media economics.

The EMMA Conference, as always, served as a platform for enriching intellectual exchange, invaluable networking, and warm camaraderie. As the EMMA president, Dr. John Oliver from the University of Bournemouth, aptly noted, "EMMA is like a wedding: a lot of familiar faces, far nephews, uncles and aunts are here, and you are happy to see them all."

We eagerly anticipate the next conference, which will take place on our home turf at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. It will provide an excellent opportunity to continue the discussions sparked in Pamplona and delve further into the transformative potential and challenges that AI technologies like ChatGPT present to our society. 

Are you interested in learning more about our research, participating in EMMA 2024, or how to become an early tester of our MediaNumeric Academy? Reach out to susannah.montgomery@inholland.nl or natalia.berger@inholland.nl for more details!