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Mattia Peretti

April 15th, 2020

Why we are launching a collaboration to experiment with AI

0 comments | 2 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Mattia Peretti

April 15th, 2020

Why we are launching a collaboration to experiment with AI

0 comments | 2 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

––– June-3 UPDATE: We have launched the JournalismAI Collab! If you have any questions, get in touch with Mattia at M.Peretti@LSE.ac.uk –––


Journalism faces many challenges. This was true before the COVID-19 emergency and is even more obvious now. More often than not, solutions to those challenges are found with a combination of journalistic effort, innovation and technology. In this context, the role that machine learning and other AI-related technologies can play in helping news organisations is becoming even more vital.

What is the next challenge that AI might help us find a solution for?

This is the question JournalismAI wants to explore in 2020 and that’s why we are introducing today a new phase of the project: a collaborative experiment to prototype AI-powered solutions that can act as a model for other news creators.

Research >>> Training >>> Experiment

When we launched JournalismAI in April 2019, we presented its mission as “fostering literacy in newsrooms globally about artificial intelligence” through research and training.

We asked media organisations across the world how they were using AI and what they thought its impact on journalism could and should be in the future. This research resulted in the publication of the report New powers, new responsibilities, which highlighted how AI is “a significant part of journalism already, but unevenly distributed”.

To help address that gap in understanding, application and development of AI in newsrooms, we used the findings of the research phase to develop training resources, such as the module with strategic suggestions on AI adoption and an introduction to machine learning for journalists that we will release in the next days.

As we worked through these efforts, a global network started to coalesce around JournalismAI, connecting news organisations around the world to help spread best practice and innovative ideas. Now it’s time to leverage this network and move the next step.

What can we solve together?

We believe that understanding via first-hand experience what challenges AI might help overcome is a key factor to propel the responsible adoption of these new technologies. We also believe in the value of collaboration and in the potential that is unlocked when news organisations work together towards a common goal.

To kick-off this new phase, we will start from what we know best: listening to our network. This is why we are asking media organisations across the world to let us know what are the challenges they think our collaborative initiative should focus on.

We are interested in hearing about specific, practical challenges newsrooms are facing or expect to be facing in the near future around business, product, editorial, and engagement. We are looking for challenges for which we can imagine an AI-powered solution and especially for challenges that newsrooms are open to tackle together with others in the industry who might be facing them.

If your news organisation wants to contribute and be part of this collaboration, please let us know by sharing your challenge(s) via this form – by May 13. 

We will be collecting challenges and ideas up until May 13. After that, our team will identify the challenge(s) to tackle in the following months. The selection will be made following three simple criteria:

  • Challenges that appear most often in your answers and that we can therefore assume are widely shared across the industry;
  • Challenges that can be approached with available data, to maximise the likelihood of finding solutions with the aid of AI and machine learning;
  • Challenges that might benefit the most from a collaborative approach.

Once the starting point of the collaboration is defined, we will form a diverse coalition of newsrooms and innovators from academia and the private sector. Together, we will design the step-by-step strategy that will lead us to prototyping innovative solutions for the selected challenge(s). The format we had in mind will have to adapt to the limitations posed by the COVID-19 emergency, but we believe this is an opportunity rather than an obstacle: designing innovative solutions is more urgent than ever and we hope this experiment will help us push the boundaries of newsrooms’ ability to innovate and collaborate.

We are excited to kick off this new phase of JournalismAI and we encourage you to fill in the survey and to get in touch if you think your organisation has a role to play in this collaboration, even beyond the framework we just laid out. Please email Mattia at M.Peretti@LSE.ac.uk


JournalismAI is a project of Polis, supported by the Google News InitiativeIf you want to stay informed about JournalismAI activities, sign up for our monthly newsletter.

About the author

Mattia Peretti

Posted In: JournalismAI | JournalismAI Collab

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