#16 Humane Conversation – Artificial Intelligence scepticism in news production: the case of South Africa’s mainstream news organisations with Allen Munoriyarwa and Mathias Felipe de Santos

The proliferation and use of Artificial intelligence (AI) have been met with celebratory acceptance in scholarly discussions and the public sphere. However, in these intellectual debates, scepticism about AI adoption in mainstream newsrooms has rarely been interrogated. In this talk, dr. Allen Munoriyarwa, Research Fellow in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, will explore widespread scepticism among journalists about AI deployment in South Africa’s newsrooms. They will discuss the genesis of AI scepticism among South Africa’s mainstream journalists. Two main broad arguments will be contoured in this talk. Firstly, they will argue that scepticism about AI among journalists in South Africa should be linked to the broader debates about the future and purpose of news in post-apartheid South Africa. Secondly, they argue that AI corporations view AI technology through profit lenses. This feeds into scepticism and mistrust, as journalists are accustomed to serving democracy- a discourse rarely aligned with capitalist profit-making intentions. This talk will contribute to the ongoing debates on AI and news production practices in less-explored contexts of the global South. Find more about this topic in a conversation with Mathias Felipe de Lima Santos – our postdoctoral researcher in Responsible AI for the RPA Human(e) AI.