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We live in an age of digital everything, in which the news pandered to the audience is tailormade for their interest and preferences. But this also creates a problem for both media publications and readers - something which this new AI-based news aggregator aims to solve.
Dubbed Knowhere, a newly released website is the brainchild of an entrepreneur and few Stanford-read AI specialists. The website uses machine learning tools to report the most trending stories of the day by offering left, impartial, and right-leaning versions of each.
The content of these stories is collected from different online sources and then rewritten by an AI. The tool is said to be capable of writing one story in about 60 seconds to 15 minutes depending on the complexity of the topic. After the AI is done writing the piece, a human editor reviews the content, and further trains the algorithms. How it helps you ask? It doesn't only offer a fast news aggregation portal, but also help prevent the filter-bubble problem.
"I was inspired by my father who was an investigative journalist and correspondent for the BBC throughout my childhood," co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Nathaniel Barling told Digital Trends. "Each night he would bring home three papers, The Guardian, The Times, and The Telegraph. He'd ask me to read all three of them so that I could gain a balanced perspective on the day's news."
Since Knowhere uses "left," "right" or "impartial" labels to write a story, Barling believes that the website will reduce the effect of readers being deceived by their own online echo chamber - whichever political spectrum they choose to be a part of.
"Knowhere is most useful for reaching one simple but extremely hard to achieve, goal: finding the truth," he said. "We present our readers with the facts of each story, and the narratives being built around them so that they can develop their own informed opinions. This is particularly useful for news where there's a high degree of controversy and partisan sentiment. In this case, you will often see different publications covering the same news with a very strong 'house-spin', without actually saying anything 'untrue.' There also tends to be a greater misrepresentation of facts on controversial news items, which our technology is designed to identify and omit. Our journalism will appeal to readers who want to know the full and accurate story, free of bias."
The practicality and effect of Knowhere remain to be seen. Judging by funding numbers ($1.8 million) the tools seems to have people's attention. What's more interesting is that few people actually see this as the future of journalism.