1 out of 8 Columbus jobs could be taken over by artificial intelligence in the not-too-distant future
Otter floating on its back

An AI police-beat reporter named the “Ohio Safety Oracle” is covering Columbus crime with a writing voice that sounds sad and shocked for local humanity. The Ohio Safety Oracle may also be sympathetic to law enforcement, which is understandable and commendable, but hopefully the “Oracle” isn’t a police-state apologist. 

This AI reporter can be found on NewsBreak, a nationwide news aggregator with a website for every single zip code. It describes itself as the nation’s “leading local news app.” Here in Columbus, it re-publishes stories from the Dispatch to NBC4 and even the Free Press, offering this local news buffet in one tidy location.

NewsBreak also allows local contributors (sans pay probably) to add to its coverage. The Ohio Safety Oracle is on the masthead. The Free Press asked Newsbreak’s corporate office about the Oracle but have yet to hear back.

Last week, it wrote a story with this lead paragraph: “Columbus, Ohio has experienced a week filled with tragic crime incidents, including murder, shooting, and rape. From a former police officer charged with murder to a fatal double shooting, the city has been shaken by these incidents. This report provides a summary of each incident, shedding light on the alarming rise in crime in the area.”

Like self-driving cars, and hopefully for those few reporters who are left, AI journos go swerving off the road. One thing an AI reporter can’t do (as of yet) is witness a crime scene post violence, such as the recent police-involved shootout in the massive parking lot of the Great Southern shopping center.

Here’s some more good news for local news gatherers. The Ohio Safety Oracle may not be as objective as one may assume. Or the Oracle is flat out careless. It depends, but it is concerning, nonetheless.

The former Columbus police officer charged with murder the Oracle writes about, of course, is Ricky Anderson. He was charged with murder for shooting the unarmed Donovan Lewis. But the picture going with the Oracle’s article instead shows an otter swimming on his back. Yes, an otter (pictured above). Even though the caption reads “Police officer Ricky Anderson”. Every other picture the Ohio Safety Oracle used for its coverage, such as this guy charged with rape, was a correct image.

NewsBreak does offer a disclaimer to all its AI generated news reporting: “While we strive to provide you with the most accurate, comprehensive, and timely information from credible sources, we cannot guarantee the content generated by AI absolute accuracy or appropriateness for your specific needs.”

Whether the Ohio Safety Oracle has become sentient is whole ‘nother Pandora’s Box. But check out this headline it wrote: “Ohio’s Week of Shock: Deadly Shootout, Brutal Stabbing, Pumpkin Pie Chaos, Police Indictment, NFL Player Acquittal, and Cold Case Trial.”

Writing this about the pie incident, “A Bowling Green resident was arrested after cutting a pumpkin pie in an unconventional manner at a community potluck. The incident caused a disturbance, leading to the man’s surprising arrest.”

Crime news has always been, unfortunately, a big seller for local mainstream media, especially for broadcast. “If it bleeds it leads,” goes the mantra. And as many sadly know, Columbus logged record number of homicides in 2020 and 2021.

The debate over why a human chooses a life of crime over a career has raged for decades. Some criminologists believe they choose selling illicit drugs over a job due to a lack of hope or purpose. Why sling burgers over a hot griddle for $10-an-hour, or pick-pack in a hot warehouse 12-hours straight when you can sell “fenty” to addicts and make thousands per week?

Crazy enough, slinging burgers will mostly likely be overtaken by an AI “robotic arm.” And like the Ohio Safety Oracle, it has a cute name, “Flippy.”

Speak of the job-stealing devil is how a recent report from (not affiliated with any Chamber of Commerce) shows Columbus is in the top-20 for losing jobs to AI in the future.

The number of at-risk jobs is close to 140,000 or 1 out of 8, according to the

“From bank tellers and retail workers to software engineers and doctors, no line of work or type of business is entirely immune to artificial intelligence,” stated the study.

Humanity’s uncertain future has humans on edge. What are we going to do when AI and its greedy egomaniac human creators take our jobs? Leave us with no purpose or hope?

This could mean plenty of work for the Ohio Safety Oracle.