In the wake of New York Times (NYT) forbidding the use of their articles for AI training and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) along with Bill C-18 last month banning Facebook, these traditional media giants are battling to maintain influence over information dissemination. While traditional media used to dictate the narrative, it seems the onus now lies on the reader to evaluate and analyze the information they are presented with, sometimes sourced from unconventional and non-traditional outlets such as social media influencers.

The Paradigm Shift in Journalism: Primary Sources in Social Media

Interestingly, the advent of social media platforms has had significant impacts on the landscape of journalism. In Lebanon, for example, journalists still pursue primary sources for quotes, a practice that seems to be dwindling in more developed countries where journalists just outsource quotes from social media directly or a platform like Haro, where they can look for someone with specific experience. The future of developing countries will likely converge as the local internet culture becomes mature.

The rise of social media influencers sharing their immersive, personal experiences has practically converted these platforms into primary news sources for many. Successful influencers manage to not only find these primary sources but tightly weave them into their personal branding narratives.

The Downside of AI and Privacy Concerns

The influx of AI, while revolutionary in information processing and distribution, raises significant concerns regarding privacy. For instance, a documentary on Fentanyl usage showcases the difficulty in obtaining first-hand information on its illegal production and distribution not only in the domestic case but in cross border. Artificial general intelligence may be possible to achieve its objective if it has an acess to satelites with transparency camera and tracks every single human movement at the global scale. At that point, the narrative seems certainly a real-life Orwellian dystopia.

Transforming Barriers into Innovation Opportunities

Despite the complexities brought on by technological advances, there are opportunities for innovation arising from the lowering of barriers in the media sphere. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have democratized media, making it more accessible for all users to share information and opinions.

However, the task of transforming primary data into accessible and engaging formats still requires a certain skill set.

Two potential business ideas emerge from this trend. Firstly, a platform aimed at making it easy to convert raw content into popular content formats. That includes video editing software as well as the popular Instagram filter. Secondly, a software that operates as an AI journalist that identifies and flags newsworthy primary source that's worth sharing to outsiders. That is the job journalists do today. They go about asking experts of what they think are the important issues.

An excellent example of the latter is Google Photo, which highlights and encourages you to share or turn your old photos into keepsakes. My own platform, Kaffae sought to achieve in transforming private information into public value.

Harnessing the Power of the Smartphone Era

Modern social media is built upon smartphones, which have significantly simplified the process of delivering primary source (your thoughts/experience). The power of transformation lies in the microcosm of apps and devices that enable individuals to package their experiences and share them on a global stage.

Effecting a Culture of Open Dialogues

As AI plays a role of journalism, we need to adjust it as a society as well. We need to foster the culture of open data: to turn everything into primary source.
The imperative first step lies in fostering a culture that values openness in dialogues. Key public figures should be more transparent and film their dialogue unedited online, setting examples of openness. Individual's own AI program can curate and interpret such data. This can be accomplished without regulations and should be viewed not just as a means of compliance, but a cultural norm for the future.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, although AI poses legitimate challenges concerning privacy and personal rights, it can't be denied that it will revolutionize information dissemination. As we navigate this new reality, we must strive to strike a balance between exciting innovations and the sanctity of personal freedoms. In this era of AI and Influencers, the power truly lies in the hands of the individual, with every tweet or video shared potentially shaping public opinion and setting the narrative.