Non-Writing AI Tools Every Journalist Should Know

AI Basics

The rise of AI technology is changing the way journalists work. Text generation models like ChatGPT grab most of the headlines, but there’s more to this rapidly evolving technology.

From algorithms that help investigative journalists uncover the stories hidden in their data, to machine learning systems that transcribe interviews and translate content and tools to optimize paywalls and reader interactions. The AI ​​landscape is diverse and growing.

“There are AI applications at every stage of the journalism process, from news collection to production to distribution, as well as business and engagement use cases.” Mattia Peretti, a journalism think tank and the manager of the JournalismAI project run by Polis, the London School of Economics and Political Science. They are becoming more accessible and affordable, he noted.

However, this newfound power comes with risks, from machine learning biases to ethical dilemmas. “AI tools can be an invaluable resource for journalists. [but] Human oversight must be guaranteed to avoid the publication of inaccurate data and false claims,” said Colin Polleza, director of the European Observatory for Journalism and assistant professor of digital journalism at the University of Suvitella, Italy. is warning you. Different stages can raise different concerns, from checking whether the design of the system is aligned with journalistic values, to verifying the accuracy of the data used, to ensuring transparency of the purpose and methodology of the application. he said there is

Additionally, the proliferation of chat-based software such as ChatGPT and image generators such as DALL-E and Midjourney present new challenges for controlling the spread of misinformation. For example, news consumers may bypass traditional media sources and instead access information through these systems. “This has the potential to disrupt many of the existing digital journalism business ecosystems. [and] “It raises a lot of questions about source verification, the credibility of publishers and individual journalists.” sejin pikePh.D. Candidate from Boston University specializing in AI-mediated communication and human-computer interaction.

Familiarity with the tools available is essential to responsibly navigating these complexities. Here are some non-write AI applications worth knowing about:

information discovery

AI-powered tools help journalists streamline information gathering and uncover hidden stories within datasets. For example, new/s/leak (short for “NetWork of Searchable Leaks”) is a linguistic technology that helps journalists sift through large amounts of text data to more effectively identify relevant material and unexpected connections. It’s a free tool that uses both and visualization.

“This system is similar to the one we built at City University of London with DMINR, a news discovery and verification tool that helps journalists manipulate big data to conduct research.” explains Porleza.

Tagging and archiving

“Auto-tagging may sound like a boring use of AI,” says Porleza. “But only a complete archiving and tagging system will allow newsrooms to make the most of their vast archives.”

Incorrect tagging can lead to the loss of valuable information in the database, so a well-trained system is essential. To simplify the process, Porlezza suggests using his Varia, a tool that is “relatively successful in the German market.” Varia provides a classification system with intelligent search and search capabilities.

Accessibility solution

Text to Speech AI, such as Eleven Labs, can convert written text into natural-sounding speech, making information more accessible to people with visual impairments. Similarly, Speech to Text software like Trint can transcribe audio and video in multiple languages, making it easier to reach a wider audience, including those with hearing loss.

YouTube also offers a free captioning feature, but for a more comprehensive solution, Descript is an intuitive editing tool that allows you to record, transcribe, and edit audio (and remove filler words like ‘um’). can be used for

lead generation

Real-time monitoring of events and topics is critical to keep up with the fast pace of news. AI has facilitated this with tools like NewsWhip. NewsWhip predicts which stories and topics will be trending in the next hours and tracks public and media interest.

Another technology platform, Factmata, analyzes social media, articles, and blog posts to group similar opinions into narratives and provide insights into popularity and virality. With these, journalists can keep up with the latest developments and gain a deeper understanding of online conversations.

Investigation and reporting

Audemic is marketed as a tool for researchers, but it also helps journalists and content creators save valuable time in the news gathering and reporting process. Users upload scientific papers and the software generates an audio version of the text. Plus, you can easily access summaries quickly, skip to specific sections, listen to audio, highlight important information, and take notes. All these make research more efficient and effective.

Photo by Tara Winstead via Pexels.

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