Every minute the audience is consuming news across platforms. And every minute the news media sells millions of page views, not to say anything of the ad revenue that comes along with it. But how do media organisations make sure the right news reaches the right audience? And, as news media struggles to compete for attention and retain public trust, how do they make sure to be the preferred choice for news? Artificial intelligence (AI) in newsrooms provides the answers.
Using AI in journalism
In 2014, the Los Angeles Times published a report about an earthquake three minutes after it happened. This was possible because a staffer had developed a bot called Quakebot to write automated articles based on data generated by the US Geological Survey.
The use of AI in newsrooms around the world is rising — from sourcing information, producing news articles and identifying trends — and organisations are investing more in making sure they reach a wide audience, the right audience and retaining them all.
Bloomberg started the trend with using AI to dissect financial reports and instantly writing news stories. At Bloomberg, AI robots also analyse large datasets and send alerts to journalists as soon as a trend or anomaly emerges from big data. The Washington Post also used a homegrown artificial intelligence technology to cover the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and congressional elections.
Findability Sciences, an award-winning Enterprise AI Company, has distilled AI services to many newsrooms, including the Hindustan Times Digital Streams group to increase reader engagement through data-driven personalization of news.
Applying artificial intelligence in business
As key partners to the Hindustan Times AI & Data Science Team, Findability Sciences partnered
with Hindustan Times to devise three main strategies:
(1) Similar Stories – to show similar content-based recommendations
(2) Recommended For You Stories – to show user-based recommendations
(3) Similar Stories + Recommended For You Stories
A content recommendation system was developed to offer personalized content suggestions to readers. The recommendation system algorithm, trained with machine learning and reinforcement learning using Content Management System, Click Through, keyword extraction etc., provided content suggestions while processing live, click-stream data.
How artificial intelligence companies produce results
News wire AP reported to have gone from producing 300 articles on company earnings reports every quarter to 3,700 after having applied artificial intelligence in their newsrooms. Today, Associated Press’ newsroom AI technology generates about 40,000 stories a year.
With the Hindustan Times Group, the right blend of automation and real-time website personalization has helped the organisation record a massive increase in its click through rates (CTRs) and thereby its revenue. “In terms of the impact that we have generated together, we have seen about 100% improvement in their CTRs, and they are focused on revenue generation, in which, too, we’re already seeing impacts,” said the HT team.
The future of AI in journalism
We are already aware of the great impact that AI has on the way information and debate is shaped today. Findability Sciences has made great headway with AI in manufacturing, AI in financial services, AI in retail, AI in health and more. In the newsrooms, too, new AI technologies are also proving to be great tools to make journalism more efficient and relevant for people.
But newsrooms must act now. As of today, barring a select few news organisations, most struggle with AI skills and the time to learn these skills. Therefore, they never start.
We are the cusp of radical change and progress with AI, and if we believe that journalism is integral for social good and betterment, then AI is the way ahead. Of course, journalists needn’t worry. Journalism involves emotions, and so AI can replace or take over a lot of technical and works involved in journalism, but it is unlikely that it will replace journalists.
1. Can artificial intelligence be applied in news media?
The use of artificial intelligence is constant and ever-evolving in every sector of the world we live in, and the media industry is just another industry that has not escaped its clutches. And with digital media in print, TV, and radio becoming the main focus of the industry, the applications of AI have also increased multifold.
2. What are the applications of AI in news media?
Personalization, targeted advertising, search optimization, metadata tagging, subtitle generation, creating multimedia, social media optimization, and interactive data visualizations are only some of the obvious applications of AI in media. An important application is that of automated journalism.
3. What is automated journalism and how is AI used for it?
Automated journalism, also known as robot journalism, uses natural language generation algorithms powered by AI to automatically convert data into various news stories, images, videos, and data visualizations. These stories can then also be distributed via automated journalism platforms. Additionally, by using AI-enabled data analysis and natural language generation-based reporting automation tools, organizations can create quick performance reports that would otherwise take many hours to analyse.
4. What are the pros of AI in news media?
One of the most important benefits of AI is in its ability to scan huge amounts of data, quicker than humanly possible. It also makes it easier for journalists to pull together unconnected data sets. Robot journalism combines efficiency and speed. It also helps limits errors in articles.