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Reuters is Using AI to Spot Patterns and Redefine Journalism

Overview

  • Reuters is rolling out an AI tool that will help journalists speed up their reporting process
  • The tool will trawl through massive datasets to spot any emerging patterns
  • It will give the journalist a quick summary of the news to help decide if the story is worth pursuing

 

Introduction

Journalism has always felt like a field driven by human insight and opinion. How could machines ever dictate the nuances of what to write, how to write it and when it should be published?

                                                     Source: thecoversation.com

Turns out, Reuters has the answer.

Named Lynx Insight, the AI tool has already been used by multiple journalists and Reuters is in the process of rolling it out across all it’s offices. The tool will assist journalists in curating stories from around the internet, suggesting ideas, analyzing data and even write complete sentences if required.

Lynx Insight will trawl through hundreds and thousands of stories every day and try to spot patterns that stand out. Reuters has already experimented with financial stories and claims it was an unqualified success which prompted it to move to all sectors.

The AI will be given access to run through massive datasets to flag any interesting stories – trending topics in any part of the world, major changes in the stock price of a company, election patterns, etc. It will then pass that information on to journalists in any form they have chosen – message, email or a news flash on their computer. The tool will also generate a quick summary to help journalists understand why the story was flagged and if it’s worth pursuing.

The system also has a feature where the journalist can enter the name of a company and it will return information about it. This can be handy in doing a quick background check ahead of any potential interviews.

Reuters claims, like so many other AI users, that the technology will support and assist journalists rather than replace them in the long term.

 

Our take on this

This is not the first time we’re seeing AI being pioneered in journalism. Quite a lot of  news organizations, like the Washington Post, the Press Association and Yahoo, use AI to write short summaries of news stories.

This is quite the gamble taken by Reuters as fake news stories is a genuine concern globally right now. If the AI is able to sift out that news, all the better for them. There is certainly a lot of data available when it comes to news so this could be the first of many tools to be launched in this field.

We will certainly be keeping an eye out on it’s performance and will keep you updated in case of any major developments.

 

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2 Comments

  • Anupama R says:

    Personally I feel there is a need of hour to get real news rather than high TRP news. If AI can bring in this change, to focus on content rater than volume it would be much relief.

    • Pranav Dar says:

      Hi Anupama,

      I agree but with the current level of AI in this field, the job of sifting through the stories and deciding which ones are worth reporting is up to the journalists. We might see something down the line but it’s a few years off at least.

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