Newsrooms adopting artificial intelligence in 2018?

As the digital age has set in editors and chief executive officers in newspaper houses are prepared to enlist artificial intelligence (AI) and the power of computing to help them deal with the challenges of the digital age. A global survey called Annual Digital Leaders Survey says almost three quarters, which means 71 percent, of those surveyed are already looking at AI as a way of creating or distributing content more efficiently. Given the traditional agenda setting role of editors and journalists, it is surprising that 59 percent of publisher respondents are considering letting algorithms select stories for users. But most of these early implementations are still trials and journalists remain clear that ultimate decisions will remain under human control

However, the core focus for many news organisations, as they move from a model based on reach (and ads) to one based on engagement (and subscription or premium ads), is the need to increase the time spent with a particular news brand. That means providing more personally relevant and timely content which is hard to scale without technology like AI. An example of how this works comes from China where the most successful news app, Toutiao, has built an audience of 120 million with individual engagement times of 74 minutes per day.

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