Journalism and AI

The world of news and media isn’t exactly new to technology. Journalism has seen its evolution from newspapers to radio to television, and then the internet. The augmentation of Artificial Intelligence has paved the way for automated processes in almost every industry. These processes are not exempt in Journalism and AI is integrating nicely into the journalistic process.

News organizations are now utilizing AI to transform the way news is generated, produced, shared, and published. Artificial intelligence accelerates the process of research, compilation, and cross-referencing of data. 

Let us look into the various aspects of how AI is enhancing the field of Journalism. 

Accelerated content writing and newsgathering (Automated Journalism)

Journalism and AI

One of the primary benefits offered by automation is relief from routine reporting, providing a focus for more complex tasks. Journalism and AI can be integrated to speed up the time-consuming processes of gathering, verifying, and publishing news, all while increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Counter-arguments of the threat to authorship and news quality need to be considered also. 

AI systems are able to discover news from multiple sources, scouring through large quantities of data from press releases, blogs, social media posts, images, videos, and other unstructured content.  

The AI systems can automatically summarize the data into articles or research, by using machine learning algorithms to find patterns in the text or select an assortment of pre-programmed article structure and extract useful information. Through order key points and taxonomies this information can then be labeled and categorized, even used to create articles themselves. The output can be customized to fit a certain voice, tone, or style. This summarizes the data accurately and ensures relevancy to the reader. 

While the application has typically been limited to more formulaic articles and reports, such as sports recaps, weather, financial reports, real estate analysis, and earnings reviews, applications are becoming more sophisticated.

The Associated Press, for example, uses software to form Automated Insights, and data from other companies, enabling them to produce 150 to 300 word-articles at the same time it takes journalists to crunch numbers and prepare information. 

Forbes uses an AI-powered content management system called Bertie that suggests content and titles. The Washington Post uses a system called Heliograf that can generate entire articles from quantitative data. Many organizations use AI to generate shareholder reports, legal documents, press releases, general reports, and articles. In this way, AI helps to cover things where reporters can’t always cover immediately such as local sports and local political elections.

Weeding out fake news

Due to the wide access to technology in today’s world, the separation of real news, derived through verified facts, from fake news intended to misinform and misdirect becomes difficult to do. AI systems make this easier by identifying patterns within data sources and news content to weed out those that have been artificially created or aggregated. 

NLP or Natural Language Processing is typically used to review the subject of the story, the headline, main body text, and the geographical location. It will then establish if other sites and publications are reporting the same facts. As headlines are the primary focus of news articles, AI systems can be used to discover and flag fake news by using keyword analytics.

While this is inevitably a short form of validation, in this manner, facts are compared with reputed and approved media sources. A publication’s authority can be examined by various features such as domain name, backlinks, author, and Alexa web rank to name a few. Facebook’s AI uses speedy and reliable fact-checking by detecting word patterns that may indicate a fake story. Predictive analytics can help in this.

Personalization of content

Journalism and AI

One of the most influential applications of Artificial Intelligence in media and advertising is the delivery of personalized content. Typically, a user’s social media feed and the advertisements sent to them are all curated through AI systems that learn from the user’s content preferences. 

It bases this information on the user’s activities, likes, and demographic traits such as employment, age, gender, etc. In this way, Artificial Intelligence helps users find content that they will take an interest in and hide content that they may be uninterested in. 

Facebook’s AI system, for example, suggests news articles based on channels and mastheads the user has shown a preference for before. News is therefore curated based on a user’s behavior and traits and caters to their specific interests.  

Conclusion

Journalism and AI are integrated in today’s world; especially with how people access their news, especially on social media and search engines.  

From managing intensive tasks to the development and filter of content, AI has created a solution that drives a user’s experience. This keeps users more engaged with the content produced and hence, drives more traffic where needed, and allows advertising to become more effective.

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