John Oliver was funny, but artificial intelligence poses the next big questions

In his biting, much-cheered defense of the work of local newspapers on his show “Last Week Tonight,” the red-hot HBO satirist John Oliver had much fun at the expense of the role of “artificial intelligence” in modern journalism. Oliver’s highly entertaining piece — which quickly garnered well in excess of 4 million views — contrasted the current enthusiasm of some publishing executives, including the ones who currently pay my salary, for various automated manifestations of reporting, editing and news distribution with what you might call the old-fashioned, sentimental view of the profession: the notepad-wielding reporter at the quotidian school board meeting, fighting corrupt politicians and delivering the truth to your stoop. There is a lot to unpack in Oliver’s 19-minute segment and various levels of irony at work. For starters, there’s…


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