AI Decision Support – Journalist Edition

Screenshot 2018-03-12 14.07.31.png

Reuters is building an AI tool to help journalists analyse data, suggest story ideas, and even write some sentences, aiming not to replace reporters but instead augment them with a digital data scientist-cum-copywriting assistant.

… the aim is to divvy up editorial work into what machines do best (such as chew through data and spot patterns), and what human editorial staff excel at (such as asking questions, judging importance, understanding context and — presumably — drinking excessive amounts of coffee).

That differs from previous editorial tech efforts that sought to train AI to write entire stories …

The system will churn through massive datasets, looking for anything interesting: a fast moving stock price, intriguing changes in a market, or subtler patterns. Journalists are handed that information however they choose — in an email, messenger service, or via their data terminals when they sit down for a shift — alongside key context and background to help jumpstart their research if they think the story is worth pursuing. They can also enter a particular company into the system to get a quick overview, handy for background research and interview preparation.
Reuters is taking a big gamble on AI-supported journalism

We will see more and more of this sort of Human/AI hybrid approach to knowledge work as enterprises move to take full advantage of machine learning’s potential.   Whether it is for journalists, lawyers , Airbnb hosts or nuclear sub captains.

This approach inherently requires explainability as the human half of the hybrid needs to understand the work being done by her AI partner.

Leave a Reply