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Artificial Intelligence





Presidency High-Level Conference

“Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Journalism - Will AI take hold of the Fourth Estate?” 11-12 May 2021

The aim of this online Conference, organized under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was to raise awareness on the adoption and impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technologies on news production, distribution and consumption, as well as to promote a reflection on the future of journalism in the digital age.


The Conference gathered more than thirty international renowned experts in the field, from academia, media and IT organizations, as well as political actors, such as the Portuguese Minister of Culture, the Secretary of State for Cinema, Audiovisual and Media, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, the Vice President of the European Commission for values and transparency, as well as international organization representatives from the Council of Europe, UNESCO and OSCE.


Context and objective

The existence of a free press/news media, independent from the various powers, namely political and economic, as well as being plural, economically sustainable, guided by criteria of ethics, accuracy, impartiality and truth is a sine qua non condition to democracy, respect for human rights, good governance and open societies.

In a historical context in which disinformation has become prominent, the importance of the role of the press/news media is increasingly evident. However, market and technological developments in recent decades and the COVID-19 pandemic have placed it at risk of survival.


The fast-paced development of so-called Artificial Intelligence (AI), which already allows the automated production of certain information pieces, significantly exacerbates these circumstances. At the same time, the increased speed and connectivity capacity, with the expected 5G, and the multiplication of platforms are contributing to the transformation of the news media sector. The purpose of this High-Level Conference is to raise awareness of the adoption and impact of AI-based technologies on news production, distribution and consumption, and to promote reflection on the journalism of the future in the digital age.


Specific objectives

The Presidency High Level Conference sought namely to get a better understanding of:

1. The current adoption and use of AI-based technologies in the media ecosystem and innovation in newsrooms, and what to expect in the medium and long term.

2. The impact of the adoption of AI-based technologies in journalism, at structural level, including the ethics and deontology of journalism, journalists’ relationships with users/citizens, their competences and business models, as well as in fundamental rights and democracy.

3. The opportunities and risks in the use of AI-based technologies.

4. Standards and norms to safeguard fundamental rights, freedom of expression and media pluralism.

5. Public policy challenges for the future of journalism/journalism of the future.

6. Areas that require in-depth investigation.




Main Conclusions


Wrap-up, Prof. Gustavo Cardoso, Director, OberCom


Conference vídeos: