No, artificial intelligence (AI) will not replace the work of journalists. But many big players in the media industry, such as the BBC and the New York Times, recognised some time ago that it will streamline a lot of essential routine tasks with editorial workflow tools, eradicate mundane drudgery and add credibility to content through automated fact checking – to name just a few uses.
Here are five ways AI is paving the way to better journalism.
1. Editing, formatting and proofing in seconds
Through the power of AI, many time-absorbing tasks that may need the attention of more than one individual can be automated. Simple editing, formatting and proofing tasks could be done in a fraction of the time. In addition, the chance of human error is significantly reduced by making workflows more intelligent.
Writing productivity tools can be implemented to pre-set grammar and formatting rules to analyse content and score articles on their quality. Minor errors can be changed, such as grammar and punctuation. More complex errors can be flagged up for the attention of individuals.
2. Speedy fact-checking
Great to hear @FullFact being mentioned by @CharlieBeckett at #hhldn. Their work on automated factchecking is necessary: https://t.co/SkbxnQ0ebX#hhldn
— Matteo Moschella (@MatteoMoschella) November 18, 2019
Fake news is becoming a seemingly unstoppable force. Misinformation and disinformation are hard to dodge on social media. Misinformation refers to inaccuracies that stem from error. Disinformation refers to false information spread deliberately to deceive. Luckily for journalists in the pursuit of truth, AI is able to discern fact from fiction quicker and more efficiently than humans. This is due to its automated fact-checking ability. As a result, journalists can check public statements or claims at a speedy rate and add credibility to their work.
Knowhere News is one company doing just this. It uses AI to analyse more than a thousand news sources on select topics. It then writes an impartial version of events. As well as this, Factmata is developing an automated fact-checking tool.
“We all know that algorithms, AI, technologies are actually quite responsible for the accelerated spread of so-called ‘fake news’ and disinformation, and yet we also know that the same technologies can be used in quite specific ways — such as automated fact-checking — to counter it.” — Charlie Beckett, director of Polis at LSE
3. Faster content creation
For reporters, time is of the essence. Nailing that breaking story before anyone else is crucial. It means racing to get the right information sourced, clean copy written and correct images embedded before others get there first. Fortunately, AI can help. It speeds up that process and allows writers to produce more content in a certain time frame. In turn, they can generate more traffic to their page.
For instance, Forbes uses a CMS called Bertie. It deploys AI to suggest the most relevant headlines and engaging templates for news stories. Also, Reuters is building an AI journalism tool called Lynx Insight. It cleverly suggests story ideas and even writes some sentences.
4. Content discovery: Research tools for journalists
Journalists can find a wealth of inspiring research through AI tools with a fraction of the effort. This is due to the fact that AI can process more information in minutes than a journalist could in years. It has the potential to filter through unhelpful content. Then, it can place only trustworthy knowledge and data at their fingertips in a matter of seconds. From here, journalists can do what they do best: get creative and piece the story together.
LOYAL AI, for example, enables users to discover fresh perspectives from trusted sources without losing their trail of thought. They no longer need to leave their creative space to search Google. It also allows users to save their inspiration using custom boards so they can return to that lightbulb moment at a later date.
Algorithms allow @CultureTrip to make better informed decisions on
🗂 Content structure
📈 Classification and tagging
— Hacks/Hackers London (@HacksHackersLDN) November 18, 2019
5. Selecting the correct assets
Designers simply don’t have time to tag every single image. Thus, writers often face a time-consuming task of selecting the correct assets for a piece. However, AI can tag multimedia while a piece is being written. It can also search for new assets. The technology identifies objects, places, human faces and even emotions in images. The New York Times has made use of this technology to identify members of congress in photos with the help of Amazon’s Rekognition API.
Find out how LOYAL AI’s editorial research assistants can help you research faster with quick access to insights relevant to your article as you write in real-time. You won’t need to leave your creative space.