AI is not entirely new to journalism. Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Reuters and other international titles introduced AI into their newsrooms before it was trendy, and the core objective was to help free up journalists’ time to work on more in-depth and complex stories. 

Here’s how they’ve been using them: 

  1. The Associated Press (AP) was one of the early users of AI in the newsroom. In 2015, the international title deployed AI to cover quarterly earning reports – a time-consuming and tedious task. AI-powered reporting improved the company’s outputs, generating more than 3 000 stories per quarter compared to just 300 previously, without much error. The outcome encouraged  AP to continue using AI and augmented technology in the newsroom. 
  1. Bloomberg developed its own natural language processing platform called Cyborg. The platform automates data collection and can analyse financial information, monitor the news, trends and investment opportunities. It can also extract insights and information from text-based data such as news articles, research reports, company results and more. It’s efficient for a fast-paced newsroom that’s powered by data and financial information, like Bloomberg.
  1. The Washington Post first introduced its AI system, Heliograf in 2016  to cover the 2016 Rio Olympics. It focused on scores, medal counts and other data related facts. They still use the system to report on high school sports games.
  1. Reuters’s system, Lynx Insight was introduced in 2018 to augment journalists with a “digital data scientist-cum-copywriting assistant” that could help them with data analysis, story ideas and writing. Its core use is to run through data swiftly and spot patterns and trends. 
  1. Forbes introduced its AI friend, Bertie in 2018. Journalists use the system to get insight on trends and topic ideas. It also helped them with content production, image selection and writing. It not only improved journalists’ coverage of news and varied topics, but also increased traffic and readership at Forbes. 
  1. In 2019, The Guardian, Australia published its first story written by an automated system called ReporterMate. The system was designed to help journalists generate news articles using databases or spreadsheet data. It automates the process of data gathering, analysis, and summation. 

It works for them, how can it work for you? 

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