A cartoon of a human supervisor checking the work on an AI robot who has been making social videos.

Social videos: No, AI can't do them by itself

That AI isn't putting you out of a job yet — but it might be about to change it…

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

One of my colleagues at City has done some research that will be a relief to social video editors everywhere:

Only AI-generated news videos which have been post-edited by humans are as well liked news videos created by journalists, according to a new study led by Dr Neil Thurman of City, University of London. The research found that, by contrast, viewers liked videos that were entirely automated and reliant on AI significantly less than manually made ones.

So, yes, you can use AI systems to scale your social video production, but only if you have humans supervising and editing the finished product. Again, think of AI as an accelerating and assistive technology, not as a one that replaces people:

The results show that there were no significant differences in how much news audiences liked the human-made and partly-automated videos overall. By contrast, highly-automated videos were liked significantly less. In other words, the results show that news video automation is better with human supervision.

You can read the full paper in the peer-reviewed journal Journalism – if you have access… (Going from a visiting lecturer to pert-time staff lecturer has the benefit of access to more journals. I should use that more.)

The need for Reels

Talking os social video, I love the fact that Wondermark creator David Malik turned his latest cartoon, about the need for process videos on Reels and TikTok, into a Reel…

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.