Reflections in the ‘woke’ mirror
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
6d ago
Regarding the supposed furor over #WokeGemini… If we saw generative AI as a creative tool, then I’d say imagining the founding of America with women & Black people at the table and the Catholic Church headed by Black women and Native Americans is a proper revision of history the way it should have been. The reaction to #WokeGemini says more about society than the tool itself; that’s what fascinates me about AI: its reflections. Right-wing columnists fear the anti-white machine programmed by commisars of what we used to call political correctness. And the extremist Murdoch media and pols h ..read more
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Is it time to give up on old news?
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
1M ago
I am coming to a conclusion I have avoided for my last three decades working on the internet and news: It may finally be time to give up on old journalism and its legacy industry.  I say this with no joy, no satisfaction at having tried to get newspapers and magazines to change, and much empathy for the journalists and others caught working in a dying sector and those who count on them. But the old news industry is gasping for air. I’m not suggesting performing euthenasia on what is left. Nor do I dance on the grave. In my time running a Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, now ending ..read more
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Make Bell Labs an internet museum
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
1M ago
I wrote an op-ed for NJ.com and the Star-Ledger in New Jersey proposing that the soon-empty Bell Labs should become a Museum and School of the Internet. Here, for those outside the Garden State, is the text: Bell Labs, the historic headwaters of so many inventions that now define our digital age, is closing in Murray Hill, its latest owners moving to more modern headquarters in New Brunswick. The Labs should be preserved as a historic site and more. I propose that Bell Labs be opened to the public as a museum and school of the internet. The internet would not be possible without the technol ..read more
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In the echo chamber
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
1M ago
Well, that was surreal. I testified in a hearing about AI and the future of journalism held by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law. Here is my written testimony and here’s the Reader’s Digest version in my opening remarks: It was a privilege and honor to be invited to air my views on technology and the news. I went in knowing I had a role to play, as the odd man out. The other witnesses were lobbyists for the newspaper/magazine and broadcast industries and the CEO of a major magazine company. The staff knew I would present an alternative perspective. My fello ..read more
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Journalism and AI
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
1M ago
Here are are my written remarks for a hearing on AI and the future of journalism for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, on January 10, 2024. I have been a journalist for fifty years and a journalism professor for the last eighteen. History I would like to begin with three lessons on the history of news and copyright, which I learned researching my book, The Gutenberg Parenthesis: The Age of Print and its Lessons for the Age of the Internet (Bloomsbury, 2023): First, America’s 1790 Copyright Act covered only charts, maps, and books. The New York Times’ su ..read more
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Artificial general bullshit
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
3M ago
I began writing this as a report from a useful conference on AI that I just attended, where experts and representatives of concerned sectors of society had serious discussion about the risks, benefits, and governance of the technology. But, of course, I first must deal with the ludicrous news playing out now at leading AI generator, OpenAI. So let me begin by saying that in my view, the company is pure bullshit. Sam Altman’s contention that they are building “artificial general intelligence” or “artificial superintelligence”: Bullshit. Board members’ cult of effective altruism and AI doomeris ..read more
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Gibberish from the machine
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
5M ago
I’m honored that Germany’s Stern asked me to write about AI and journalism for a 75th anniversary edition. Here’s a version prior to final editing and trimming for print and translation. And I learned a new word: Kauderwelsch (“The variety of Romansch spoken in the Swiss town of Chur (Kauder) in canton Graubünden) means gibberish.  We have Gutenberg to blame. It is because of his invention, print, that society came to think of public discourse, creativity, and news as “content,” a commodity to fill the products we call publications or lately websites. Journalists believe that their val ..read more
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A generation later: What have we learned?
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
6M ago
The date sneaked up on me this year, attacking from behind. Every year on 9/11 I reflect, grateful that I survived the attack. This year, though, I find myself angry. Some of that might be my own loss: my father to COVID this year; my imminent unemployment. But I am angry on this 22nd anniversary at what has fallen since: at the authoritarianism that overtook this country and threatens the world, at racism and bigotry set loose, at the pandemic killing still, at my own field — journalism — failing to meet these challenges.  A generation has passed since 9/11/01 and what have we learned ..read more
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Moving on
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
6M ago
I have news: I am leaving CUNY’s Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the end of this term. Technically I’m retiring, though if you know me you know I will never retire. I’m looking at some things to do next and I’m open to others. More on that later. Now, I want to recollect — brag — about my time there. Eighteen years ago, in 2005, I was the first professor hired at our new school. The New York Times was dubious: For some old-school journalists, blogging is the worst thing to hit the print medium since, well, journalism school. They may want to avert their eyes today, when Stephen B. S ..read more
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Copyright and AI and journalism
BuzzMachine
by Jeff Jarvis
6M ago
The US Copyright Office just put out a call for comment on copyright and artificial intelligence. It is a thoughtful document based on listening sessions already held, with thirty-four questions on rights regarding inclusion in learning sets, transparency, the copyrightability of generative AI’s output, and use of likeness. Some of the questions — for example, on whether legislation should require assent or licensing — frighten me, for reasons I set forth in my comments, which I offer to the Office in the context of journalism and its history: I am a journalist and journalism profes ..read more
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