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Data and AI are transforming news media

Data and AI-driven development are hot. But what opportunities and challenges does this pose for journalism and the media industry? Medier & demokrati's second report for 2020 seeks answers in international research and among innovative key people.

The focus of the report is data-driven development and artificial intelligence. This is partly based on AI's broad and rapid growth as a social phenomenon. The other part is specifically based on the media sector. 

The authors are Anders Thoresson, Project Manager for the "Media Industry and AI" initiative at Lindholmen Science Park, and Jenny Wiik, media researcher at Medier & demokrati and AI Innovation of Sweden, who is running the "Automation of Journalism project. Innovation, collaboration and knowledge management during implementation of AI in news media companies". 

- I hope the report is both easy to grasp and valuable. I think it's an important contribution that captures the fundamental effects of digitisation and presents more pointed reasoning and findings, says Martin Holmberg, Programme Manager at Medier & demokrati.

Robotic journalism in the majority

In the introductory chapter, Anders Thoresson welcomes the reader to the third decade of the IT boom. The next four sections contain interviews with people who work within AI development, not lastly related to the media industry: 

• AI expert Daniel Gillblad offers his views on what journalists and media managers need to understand for the future. Among other things, AI is not a part of IT but part of business operations. 

• Sören Karlsson, CEO of United Robots, believes that based on the number of articles, robots will be producing the majority of content in an average Swedish morning newspaper in five years' time.

• Isabelle Johansson, project manager at Swedish Language Data Lab, discussed an initiative in which linguistic industries can gain a lot from collaboration. Media is one of them.

• Aleksander Lidén Pettersen from the analysis and automation company, Linkpulse, discussed how machine learning creates the conditions for sharpening the news sites' relationship with their audience. 

In the final chapter, Jenny Wiik gathers knowledge and perspectives from a number of interesting studies concerning how journalism is being transformed and effected by automation and AI.

Link to the report (in Swedish only)