May 24, 2018

2 min

AI in Journalism: How Robots Assist Media Giants

AI and Journalism

AI is conquering in numerous industries. Intelligent systems are becoming increasingly popular also in the digital publishing business. The areas of application are ranging far and wide: from automation of editorial procedures through research to reader interaction.

But how exactly AI-based systems are already implemented in daily editorial work and which specific benefits do they provide?

Greater reader interaction

The Guardian developed interactive news chatbot for Facebook Messenger. The chatbot dispenses content relevant to the user´s request, e.g., ´football´.

Users can also choose which topics they are interested in and when the content has to be delivered.

At any time, they can easily change the time, the edition, or unsubscribe. Jet-setters are provided with an option allowing to receive relevant news at the appropriate time zone.

It means readers do not have to scroll through news web sites anymore. They receive relevant content through a personalized channel.

The New York Times is using a machine-learning-based tool to expand its article comments.

Perspective API is developed by Jigsaw, a subsidiary of Alphabet.

The system ranks comments helping to fight internet trolls. The main goal is to foster a troll-free discussion online and filtering out the abusive comments.

Users can decide which kind of comments they prefer to see and which have to be hidden. Concurrently, the system helps human moderators to sort comments more efficiently. As a result, The New York Times has more than doubled the number of articles open for comments.

Relevant Bot, or Not? Factors To Consider Before Implementing The Technology

Robot journalism

The Washington Post published 850 articles written by Heliograf, an AI-based robot reporter. Heliograf had been already used during the Rio Olympics to create short reports and alerts.

Since then, the newspaper has used the intelligent system to cover congressional and gubernatorial races on Election Day and D.C.-area high school football games creating stories and tweets.

And that’s not all. More and more publishing houses, e.g., Reuters, Forbes, Bloomberg cooperate with Wibbitz, an AI-powered video creation platform. The software helps publishers to turn their text-based stories into videos in just a few seconds. Media houses are able to integrate interactive video stories into their business strategies and, as a result, improve their customer relationships.

Semantic technology

Semantic Discovery is the next area AI is successfully applied in. The main goal is to provide more efficient data management by ingesting news from numerous sources automatically.

For example, BBC News Lab built an AI-based tool named BBC Juicer.

BBC Juicer is a news aggregator and content extraction API.

It monitors about 850 RSS feeds from news outlets all over the world. The Juicer ingests news articles, automatically parses them, and tags them with related entities grouped in four categories: people, places, organisations, and things.

Journalists can use the data bank in their daily work for researching in order to focus on what they do best: reporting.

In the future, Juicer will be very likely used to improve the user experience by creating pop-up news facts when readers hover over certain words.

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