Look Ahead: Knowhere is a Journalistic Effort Between Humans and Machines to Present the Full Picture

While artificial intelligence in newsrooms is not a new concept, San Francisco and London-based news publication Knowhere wants to produce original news content using humans and AI to deliver unbiased news. This is done through the use of neural natural language processing. Using AI technology and a human editorial team made up of nine members, Knowhere creates articles centered on topics like politics and current events, and not just statistic-based articles or sports news, which is what journalists primarily use AI for in newsrooms.

The AI technology scans through a vast amount of sources around the world—something that would take humans an unreasonable amount of time to accomplish—synthesizes the information and writes three “spins” to the story: the Left, the Right and impartial. The three articles differ in word choices and the way the information is presented, which is meant to show biases in reporting.

Nathanial Barling

“We have to embrace the things machines are good at, like handling robust amounts of information, if our journalistic process is going to provide truth,” said Nathanial Barling, Knowhere co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief.  “Our editorial team uses technology to produce articles that are a truer, more accurate view of the world for our readers.”

Even though the technology can process a volume of information that humans can’t handle, Barling said the algorithms are still held accountable by them. With that said, all the articles are edited by (human) editors to check for errors and style, along with the validity of sources before they are published.

“It’s a merger of the two; initial copy is written by AI and the human editorial team double checks sources and performs a common sense check—we believe this enables us to move much faster, with fewer resources,” Barling said.

He added that AI is part of the solution to delivering stories and is the future of journalism, and it’s not an argument for technology replacing reporters because newsrooms still need human editorial expertise.

“We will always have insight on the human world that technology will never have. This is a combined effort, not an effort to replace one with the other,” said Barling.

Knowhere’s goal is to have an international push next year where they can transform political, racial and gender boundaries and be a global home for news. They also hope to be the largest news publisher in the world, and the largest employer of journalists. The company launched in April with $1.8 million in funding.

“When we founded the company, we set out with a very clear goal, establishing a new source everyone can trust,” Barling said.

For more information, visit knowherenews.com.

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Published: July 5, 2018

One thought on “Look Ahead: Knowhere is a Journalistic Effort Between Humans and Machines to Present the Full Picture

  • July 5, 2018 at 4:43 am
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    As long as you have the human factor involved (thankfully in most cases) bias is always possible, more likely probable.

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