First Amendment Forum to Feature AI and Latin America

April 3, 2024

event poster

While artificial intelligence disrupted the practice of journalism last year and caused a lot of fear about bots sending fake news around the world, as it turns out, AI can be used effectively for investigative journalism -- and to advocate for social benefits in global communities. 

To explore the possibilities and promises of this new technology, the Department of Journalism is presenting the 32nd annual Kenneth S. Devol First Amendment Forum this year titled "Free Speech, AI and Geo-Journalism: Using Artificial Intelligence for Social Good."  

Scheduled for Thursday, April 11, 2024, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., the event will offer a panel of speakers addressing the theme of AI for community benefit and the issues around political persuasion campaigns, freedom of expression, fake videos and more.

This year's Forum will be a hybrid event, in order to be as inclusive as possible. Accordingly, the CSUN campus community is invited to participate in person at the University Library, in the Ferman Presentation room, or by logging in to Zoom, using the webinar ID 817 2986 1907 and the passcode 345104, or by using clicking on this Zoom link: 

"While artificial intelligence caused something of a panic last year, now is the time to explore the upside of this new tool," said Prof. Elizabeth Blakey, an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and the event organizer for the Devol First Amendment Forum. "This means looking into creative ways to use AI for good in the classroom and in the profession of journalism and mass communication.

This year's keynote speaker will be César López Linares, a researcher who covers journalism and new media issues for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas in Austin, Texas, from his global location in Dublin, Ireland. 

In his keynote address titled, "Using AI Innovatively as Journalists,” López Linares will discuss how journalists are using AI and geolocation tools to address social issues in Latin America, including problems related to the Amazon, climate change and a variety other globally relevant topics. 

The student speaker this year will be Pedro Garcia (CSUN '26), an English major enrolled in Prof. Blakey's new GE course, "Free Press in the Digital Era," Journalism 391. Garcia will discuss his research on artificial intelligence, political persuasion and the magic bullet theory. 

Also at the Forum, Dr. Stephanie Bluestein, chair of the Department of Journalism, will offer remarks on the importance of seeing emerging technologies, such as AI and geo-location apps, as tools to be used effectively and ethically by communicators.

Artificial intelligence is here to stay and the Dept. of Journalism is bringing this new technology into its courses and public events. For more information, join us at the Forum on April 11.