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Newsroom Robots

Author: Nikita Roy

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Looking to explore the intersection of AI and journalism? Influential thought leaders in the industry join data scientist and media entrepreneur, Nikita Roy, each week to explore what's next with AI and its implications for the media landscape. In each episode, industry experts discuss how automated newsrooms have the potential to change journalism and uncover opportunities to optimize workflows and increase efficiency without compromising journalistic integrity.

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53 Episodes
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Ole Reissmann, Director of AI at Der Spiegel, joins host Nikita Roy to discuss how the legacy German news organization is harnessing AI to enhance their journalism and streamline newsroom workflows.The episode explores Der Spiegel's initiatives to integrate AI into various aspects of its operations, from automating routine tasks like SEO title generation and fact-checking to developing audience-facing AI products, such as a browser plugin and audio article updates. Ole also shares insights on building an automated gender report using AI and the value of collaboration among German news organizations in advancing AI initiatives.Topics discussed include:Fostering a Culture of AI Experimentation in the NewsroomExploring Audience-Facing AI ProductsTesting and Prototyping AI ProductsBuilding Foundations for Future AI ProjectsEnhancing User Experience and Personalizing Content with AIBuilding an AI-powered gender reportCollaborating with German news organizations on AI initiativesPersonal experiments with AI and lessons learnedSign up for the Newsroom Robots newsletter for episode summaries and insights from host Nikita Roy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Jaemark Tordecilla, Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, joins host Nikita Roy to discuss the potential of using custom GPTs for journalistic purposes. Jaemark is the former editor-in-chief and senior assistant vice president of News and Public Affairs at GMA News, the Philippines' leading digital news organization.  For the past year as a Nieman Fellow, Jaemark has been pushing the boundaries of what's possible with custom GPTs – personalized versions of ChatGPT that can be tailored with specific instructions, knowledge, and capabilities to serve a particular purpose or task.In this episode, Jaemark shares his experiences creating custom GPTs like the COA Beta Assistant to summarize dense government audit reports. He dives into how custom GPTs can streamline processes across the journalism value chain - from data analysis and visualization to content creation and fact-checking.  The episode explores the ease of building these AI tools without coding, integrating custom knowledge bases, and leveraging advanced capabilities like image recognition.  Nikita and Jaemark also discuss real-world use cases, the power of democratizing access to AI for smaller newsrooms, and navigating the limitations of these models.Sign up for the Newsroom Robots newsletter for episode summaries and insights from host Nikita Roy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Adrian Gill, the founder and CEO of Ad Hoc Industries and the former creative director of the Harvard Innovation Labs, joins host Nikita Roy to explore the transformative impact of AI, especially image generation tools, on the creative design industry.Gill brings a wealth of knowledge in creative direction, strategy, and brand management from his career, which includes serving as the Vice President for PUMA's $1.8B Global Footwear Division. His expertise spans across industries, from leading a global brand campaign for Barbados Tourism featuring Rihanna to producing innovative film content for VMware to simplify software virtualization.In this episode, Adrian and Nikita explore: How to enhance design workflows and speed up the ideation process with AI.How AI tools to discover innovative design solutions and expand creative boundaries.The role of AI in visual storytelling and its synergy with human creativity.Ethical considerations and responsible AI practices in design.Strategies for designers and creatives to remain competitive in an AI-driven landscape. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Mattia Peretti, former manager of Journalism AI at the London School of Economics and current Knight Fellow at the International Center for Journalists, joins host Nikita Roy to share insights on balancing AI innovation with journalistic integrity.The episode explores an AI literacy initiative at Internews, which created a platform for knowledge exchange and significantly improved the organization's understanding and application of AI technologies. The discussion also delves into the development of generative AI guidelines for newsrooms, using the example of The Guardian. The focus is on creating adaptable, value-driven principles rather than strict prescriptions. This approach allows for flexibility in the face of rapid technological changes while ensuring that the organization's foundational values remain intact. The Guardian's experience serves as a valuable case study for other newsrooms looking to navigate the integration of AI technologies. Sign up for the Newsroom Robots newsletter for episode summaries and insights from host Nikita Roy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Florent Daudens, the outgoing Director of Newsgathering and Deployment at Canada's National Public Broadcaster, Radio-Canada, joins Nikita Roy to share how he led AI literacy initiatives in their newsroom. In his role, Florent focused on enhancing the news department with AI as well as managing operations across national, parliamentary, and foreign bureaus.With a passion for AI and technology trends, Florent has contributed to the digital evolution of major Canadian media outlets for over 15 years. Previously, he worked as the News Director at Le Devoir, where his tenure was marked by a digital transformation. This included the creation of specialized video and data visualization units and the introduction of innovative journalistic products. Florent also dedicates time to teaching digital journalism at the University of Montreal.Sign up for the Newsroom Robots newsletter for episode summaries and insights from host Nikita Roy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Ezra Eeman, the Director of Strategy & Innovation at the Dutch Public Broadcaster NPO joins Nikita Roy to discuss NPO's AI strategy, revealing the complexities of navigating this frontier within a decentralized network of 13 broadcasters. From leveraging AI for accessibility and efficiency to cautious experiments with synthetic voices and avatars, NPO's approach offers a fascinating case study in balancing innovation with public trust.With almost 20 years of experience in media, innovation, and journalism, Ezra has been at the forefront of digital transformation. Previously he was the Change Director at international media company Mediahuis, where he was responsible for coordinating newsroom transformation and digital acceleration. He also served as the Head of Digital, Transformation and Platforms at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), and prior to that, he was head of an innovation lab and journalist at VRT, the Flemish public broadcaster.Sign up for the Newsroom Robots newsletter for episode summaries and insights from host, Nikita Roy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Craig Newmark, internet pioneer and founder of Craigslist, joins Nikita Roy to talk about the past, present, and future of AI. Craig is a visionary whose profound contributions have shaped the landscape of digital platforms and supported the pillars of journalism. As the founder of Craigslist, he revolutionized the classified ads sector and transformed how people buy, sell, and connect within their local communities. Beyond his impact on the internet's landscape, Craig is a dedicated philanthropist, notably through the Craig Newmark Philanthropies where he has become a beacon of support for the work of journalists. His philanthropic journey is marked by significant contributions to some of the leading journalism schools, including the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, aiming for a future where education in journalism is accessible to all, free of tuition​​. Craig's generosity has been instrumental in establishing the Center for Journalism Ethics and Security at Columbia University. His vision for a well-informed public has also led to supporting the University of Washington's Center for an Informed Public addressing the critical issues of mis- and disinformation​​.Craig Newmark Philanthropies has contributed to Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society which supported the launch of a three-year initiative called the Institute for Rebooting Social Media.Craig has contributed to several other universities, focusing on initiatives that support journalism, cybersecurity, public service for veterans, and the digital information ecosystem. In this episode, Craig shares his thoughts on the challenges posed by large language models and how philanthropy plays a vital role in supporting the integration of AI into journalism. 📢 Announcing the launch of the Newsroom Robots Academy. The Academy will offer short online courses designed to introduce you to generative AI, complete with industry-specific insights.Join Nikita Roy, who will co-teach these courses alongside Jeremy Caplan, writer of the Wonder Tools newsletter and Director of Teaching and Learning at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.Upskilling has become more crucial than ever. Through the courses offered at the Newsroom Robots Academy, you'll be able to leverage the capabilities of generative AI in your work as a media professional.Sign up now to be among the first to know when course registration opens. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
From fine-tuning large language models, to discussing modular journalism, to developing an AI tool to help track misinformation, there’s a lot to unpack from this week’s conversation with Alessandro Alviani, the product lead for AI at Germany’s Ippen Digital. We build upon the first part of our conversation from last week, where Alessandro shared his editor-centric approach toward building AI products. A core takeaway from this week's episode is the value of fine-tuning large language models on a newsroom’s content. Fine-tuning is the process of taking a pre-trained language model that understands general textual patterns and customizing it by training the algorithm on writings from a specific domain – in this case, Ippen Digital's own journalistic content. By fine-tuning models on Ippen Digital's extensive corpus of local German reporting rather than just using out-of-the-box models like GPT-4, they are working on enhancing accuracy for tasks like headline writing, lead paragraph generation, and article summarization.Their editors and developers work side-by-side to ensure the AI's outputs match the desired quality standards and editorial voice. Additionally, Alessandro spotlighted their work in building personalized news experiences enhanced by modular journalism or “intelligent content.” Modular journalism involves breaking down articles into discrete, interchangeable components centered on key semantic themes – historical context, opposing views, critical data, etc. These content blocks can then be dynamically mixed and matched by an algorithm to generate personalized news experiences for different reader interests and preferences.We also discussed how developing AI assistants to break down a human-written news story into modules can enable the creation of customized article versions matching different reader interests or news products.Such repackaging of information to cater to diverse audiences is one of the potentials of AI in the newsroom. Thoughtful implementation of augmented writing tools could catalyze more engaging, personalized news without compromising editorial integrity. Of course, prudent precautions are necessary to develop algorithms in the newsroom. While AI has much potential for accelerating and enhancing reporting, we must understand its limitations in fully automating high-caliber journalism. The heart of quality storytelling – weaving together evidence and narratives to reveal truth and empower civil discourse – remains an irreplicable, fundamentally human endeavor.Ippen Digital’s stance to develop AI solutions that empower rather than replace reporters seems wise. By bonding human creativity and AI productivity with an ethical approach to automation, journalism may structurally shift yet hold fast to its sacred commitments to transparency, accuracy, and public enlightenment.🎧 Listen to the full conversation available now on Apple, Spotify, Google, and other major podcast platforms. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Rather than AI replacing journalists, Alessandro Alviani believes editorial teams can leverage AI to enhance and augment their work. Formerly as the Editorial Director at the Microsoft News Hub, Alessandro experienced firsthand the consequences that replacing human editors with automated systems caused. Drawing from his experience he says that the key is to empower journalists with AI tools rather than displace them. "It's our responsibility to help editors develop a more realistic approach to AI," he says.Now, as the Product Lead on AI at the German newsroom Ippen Digital, Alessandro has led the creation of a range of innovative AI products - from interview transcription tools to illustration generators - with transparency, responsibility, and human oversight as key principles. What I found particularly interesting was his three-pronged strategy towards an editorial-first approach to building AI products: internships with his product team, having two editors embedded within his 10-person team, and deep-dive discovery sessions across their newsrooms to understand editorial needs. This approach, which emphasizes collaboration and hands-on involvement, led to innovations such as an editorial assistant that was developed with input from human editors. With transparency and human oversight as guiding principles, Ippen's AI team built a self-evaluation system on top of their generative AI tools to automatically evaluate the quality of their output.Through their internal AI training programs, Ippen Digital strives to give every employee - not just technologists - a solid understanding of how AI models function, where they fall short, and why human judgment is irreplaceable.My biggest takeaway from Alessandro was this: by proactively shaping how AI gets built and deployed, journalists have an opportunity to set their direction. The future of news isn't human versus AI - it's human augmented by AI. And for the survival of quality journalism, getting that balance right is imperative.In the second part of our conversation out next week, Alessandro discusses how Ippen Digital is working on fine-tuning large language models for specific newsroom tasks. He also discusses his collaboration with colleagues at The Times of London as a 2022 JournalismAI fellow, where he developed a tool and methodology for journalists to track manipulated narratives, especially those from state-run media. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Jeff Jarvis joins Nikita Roy in the second part of his conversation to discuss how journalism business models will be affected by the rise of generative AI.In part one, Jarvis shared his thoughts on whether generative AI companies should be allowed to use news media's copyrighted content to train their AI models.Jarvis has been the director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York and the author of "The Gutenberg Parenthesis: The Age of Print and its Lessons for the Age of the Internet." He also co-hosts the podcasts "This Week in Google" and "AI Inside"..Sign up for the Newsroom Robots newsletter for episode summaries and insights from host, Nikita Roy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Jeff Jarvis joins Nikita Roy to discuss whether AI companies should be allowed to use news media's copyrighted content to train their models. Jarvis is a veteran journalist and professor who recently testified to the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and Law on AI and the Future of Journalism. He's been the director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. He is the author of six books, most recently "The Gutenberg Parenthesis: The Age of Print and its Lessons for the Age of the Internet." He co-hosts "This Week in Google" and "AI Inside" podcasts. Sign up for the Newsroom Robots newsletter for episode summaries and insights from host, Nikita Roy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Aliya Itzkowitz and Sam Gould from FT Strategies join Nikita Roy to discuss the capabilities of multimodal AI and AI agents within the publishing industry. Discover further insights and practical examples of these technologies in the Newsroom Robots newsletter, featuring insights from host, Nikita Roy. Aliya is a Manager at FT Strategies where she has consulted over 30 publishers across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Her work focuses on the critical shifts facing publishers today, including rethinking revenue models and understanding how to leverage AI. Before the FT, she worked at Dataminr, bringing AI technology to newsrooms, and at Bloomberg as a journalist. Aliya has a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Oxford.Sam is a data scientist at FT Strategies and has worked in consulting, helping clients to solve strategic business challenges using data. He has helped organizations in both the public and private sectors, from tech to healthcare to consumer products, define their AI roadmaps and strategies. He has also worked as a data scientist, designing and building data and AI systems. Sam designed the FT Strategies AI Design Sprint methodology working in partnership with the Google News Initiative.Sign up for the Newsroom Robots newsletter here. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Aliya Itzkowitz and Sam Gould from FT Strategies join Nikita Roy to discuss their AI Design Sprint that they used to help nearly 20 publishers identify and validate potential AI opportunities. Aliya is a Manager at FT Strategies where she has consulted over 30 publishers across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Her work focuses on the critical shifts facing publishers today, including rethinking revenue models and understanding how to leverage AI. Before the FT, she worked at Dataminr, bringing AI technology to newsrooms, and at Bloomberg as a journalist. Aliya has a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Oxford.Sam is a data scientist at FT Strategies and has worked in consulting, helping clients to solve strategic business challenges using data. He has helped organizations in both the public and private sectors, from tech to healthcare to consumer products, define their AI roadmaps and strategies. He has also worked as a data scientist, designing and building data and AI systems. Sam designed the FT Strategies AI Design Sprint methodology working in partnership with the Google News Initiative.Sign up for the Newsroom Robots newsletter for insights from host Nikita Roy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Nina Brown and Jared Schroeder join Nikita Roy to break down the intellectual property implications of generative AI models and explore the legal implications of using generative AI in newsrooms. They examine the risks and liabilities associated with Generative AI outputs and historical legal precedents that could shape Generative AI regulations.Nina Brown is an award-winning assistant professor at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She researches the legal issues with deep fakes, content regulation on social media, and emerging issues related to works created by artificial intelligence. She holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School and practiced law for several years before joining the Newhouse faculty. Jared Schroeder is an associate professor of media law at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. His research focuses on freedom of expression and emerging technologies, particularly in press rights in the networked AI era. He is the author of three books, including his upcoming book, The Structure of Ideas: Mapping a New Theory of Free Expression in the AI Era, published by Stanford University Press.✉️ Stay updated with the Newsroom Robots newsletter! Sign up here. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Felicitas Carrique, Executive Director of the News Product Alliance joins Nikita Roy to discuss the key components of building a successful AI product strategy in newsrooms. She also discusses the role of AI in the product development process and offers insights on evaluating AI tools and vendors.As the Executive Director of the News Product Alliance she has built a community of support and practice for news product professionals and product thinkers working together toward a more sustainable and ethical future for the news industry.The Future Today Institute's 2023 Tech Trends Report spotflighted her as "One to Watch" in the news industry for her leadership. In her prior role as the Innovation Director at Sembra Media, Felicitas worked extensively with news organizations across Latin America, Spain, and the United States, promoting innovation and spearheading product design and systems development within the organization. Felicitas is also a Professor and guest lecturer in several universities, including Universidad Católica Argentina, where she co-created the first news product class in Latin America.✉️ Stay updated with Newsroom Robots newsletter! Sign up here.Referenced: Custom GPT - AIProductGPT: Add AI to your Product Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
How does a newsroom leader spearhead AI innovation when AI still remains a buzzword to much of their staff? Louise Story joins Nikita Roy to highlight the opportunities AI presents for reporting, content creation, user experience, and personalization. Story also discusses the role of journalists in the AI era and the potential impact of generative AI on the business model of the news industry.Louise is the former Chief Technology & Product Officer and Chief News Strategist at The Wall Street Journal. She’s also been the Executive Producer & Senior Editor of Live Broadcast at The New York Times and taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Yale School of Management. With her unique blend of journalism and technology expertise, Louise has pioneered AI innovation in one of the world’s most prestigious newsrooms. She’s the industry’s first and only individual to have worked as a senior masthead news coverage leader and a chief technology officer, and the first woman to serve as CTO at a major U.S. news organization. As a veteran journalist who drove major AI implementations at The Wall Street Journal, Louise broke down seemingly abstract concepts into an actionable vision for news companies.Subscribe to the Newsroom Robots newsletter for insights from host, Nikita Roy. Referenced:News Industry: What to Do on AI Right NowAI and News: Tech Basics🎧 Listen to the full conversation on leading AI innovation in media, available now on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and other major podcast platforms. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
David Clinch, the Vice President of Partnership at Mather Economics and Managing Director at Media Growth Partners, joins Nikita Roy to discuss the critical choice between building or buying AI tools in newsrooms. With his extensive experience advising major publishers, David sheds light on how AI is reshaping newsroom strategies and the critical trade-offs news organizations face in the era of AI adoption. David has worked as an international journalist at ITN and CNN, and then as a media executive at both Storyful and Mather Economics.Throughout his three decade career at the intersection of the news and technology industries David has created an unrivaled network and a skill set built on direct experience of innovative journalism and successful business strategies in the digital age. From his time as an early evangelist for the adoption of digital technology and social media at CNN, David has become an expert in both the opportunities and risks involved in connecting journalism to technology.  Helping to build a successful digital news organization at Storyful also helped him understand what is involved in developing a business strategy that can build sustainable growth and diversified revenue streams. This passion for journalism and the appropriate application of digital technology and resources is at the core of David's current work at MGP, helping news organizations not only survive, but thrive, in a way that has a real impact in society.🎧 Tune in for valuable insights into the decision-making processes for publishers grappling with the "build vs. buy" dilemma for AI tools. ✉️ Newsroom Robots now has a newsletter! Sign up here. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
In this second part of the episode with Simon Willison, he shares how Datasette, the open-source data exploration and publishing tool he built, could help journalists perform data analysis with minimum technical expertise. He also shares some fun use cases of ChatGPT in his personal life. Simon, a former software architect at The Guardian and a JSK Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, currently works full-time to build open-source tools for data journalism. Before becoming an independent open-source developer, Simon was an engineering director at Eventbrite. He is also renowned for his work as the co-creator of the Django Web Framework, a key tool in Python web development.If you're intrigued to discover how Datasette works and how it can help you in your newsroom, don't miss the opportunity to connect directly with Simon Willison.🎧 Tune in to hear how AI has the potential to help amplify data journalism🔔 Course registration is now open. Sign up for Wonder Tools X Newsroom Robots Generative AI for Media Pros Masterclass. A Live Cohort-Based Course taught by Jeremy Caplan & Nikita Roy. Sign up here. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Simon Willison, the creator of the open source data exploration and publishing tool Datasette, joins Nikita Roy to discuss the recent turmoil at Open AI and the new features unveiled at OpenAI’s first developer conference earlier this month.They discuss the security risks inherent in generative AI applications and explore the usefulness of small language models for journalists, particularly for analyzing sensitive data on personal devices.Simon, a former software architect at The Guardian and JSK Fellow at Stanford University, currently works full-time to build open-source tools for data journalism. Prior to becoming an independent open source developer,  Simon served as an engineering director at Eventbrite. He is also renowned for his work as the co-creator of the Django Web Framework, a key tool in Python web development.🎧Tune in for a detailed exploration of the latest features from OpenAI🔔 Course registration is now open. Sign up for Wonder Tools X Newsroom Robots Generative AI for Media Pros Masterclass. A Live Cohort-Based Course taught by Jeremy Caplan & Nikita Roy. Sign up here.✉️ Newsroom Robots now has a newsletter! Sign up here. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Lynn Walsh, the Assistant Director of Trusting News, joins Nikita Roy to discuss how newsrooms should think about their relationship with audiences when adopting AI. She also highlights opportunities to use AI to enhance trust and engagement with the news.Lynn is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism for over 15 years. Currently at Trusting News, she works to help rebuild trust between journalists and the public. She is also an adjunct professor at Point Loma Nazarene University and a past national president and Ethics Chair for the Society of Professional Journalists.🎧 Tune in for insights on how newsrooms can put in place guidelines for experimenting with AI responsibly and ethically.🔔 Course Registration is Now Open. Sign up for Wonder Tools X Newsroom Robots Generative AI for Media Pros Masterclass. A Live Cohort-Based Course taught by Jeremy Caplan & Nikita Roy. Sign up here.✉️ Newsroom Robots now has a newsletter! Sign up here. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
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