The Future Press at PMJA

Gracie Warhurst - Journalism Senior

Presenting The Future Press’s AI research at the PMJA conference in San Antonio was an immensely fulfilling opportunity. Sophia and I have been working nonstop since February this year to understand AI chatbots and their role in the journalism industry. It’s been a long road of research and repetition, but we have been steadily reaching milestones and producing AI content. Being able to compile all of our findings, and teach those findings to an impressive group of professional journalists, exceeded all my expectations.

Our presentation filled one of three morning time slots and when we arrived to set up our slides, I had no idea what to expect. Once we started speaking, I noticed that people kept filing in and even lined the back of the room to hear us talk. The attendees consistently asked us questions and clarifications throughout our presentation, engaging with our material and treating us as equals in the industry. They wanted to know more about how AI works, what it can do to help with their jobs and what the future is like for AI journalism. Our conversations with those who stayed afterwards, as well as with folks throughout the day at the conference, made me realize how well-received the work we’re doing is and how much we can contribute to this industry.

It is sometimes hard to be a young woman in the professional world, but my experience at the PMJA conference gave me hope and confidence in my role as a journalist. It is a landmark opportunity, not only for The Future Press, but for me personally to present our work. This conference gave us so much exposure for the research we’re doing, and I can’t wait to see what unfolds next for our team.

Sophia Kurz - Journalism and Informatics Senior

At the end of June, “The Future Press” team was invited to the Public Media Journalists Association’s annual conference in San Antonio to present our findings. Gracie, my research partner, and I collaborated with our research advisor, Professor Robert Quigley, to put together a presentation that we thought our primary audience of journalists would find interesting and informative. We entitled our presentation “Reimagining Reporting: The Rising Role of AI in Journalism.” We discussed how we started the project, what our initial plans were, how we went about implementing those plans and our final findings.

Being invited to PMJA was, honestly, a dream come true. I love the work that I do within this project, and the fact that I got to talk about it to so many people who are also interested in the project was really rewarding. Additionally, I loved the experience of giving a presentation at a conference, and from a more professional perspective, I gained great insight into the skill of presentation.

two students presenting at conference

two students standing in front of fountain