Can A.I. save news media?

David Bassey

Whether you’re just a fan or a techie, artificial intelligence is around us. 

Over the weekend, Chinese news agency Xinhua released the first A.I. news anchor, and this got me thinking…

Can A.I. save news media?

You’ve seen the scenes countless times. Tony Stark, getting valuable assistance from his robots in “Iron Man”, Alex’s clean-up drones and sentient A.I. system in “Tau,” or perhaps the humanoid of “Ex-Machina”. 

According to Poole and Mackworth, A.I. is a field that studies the synthesis and analysis of computational agents and how they act intelligently.

Whether it’s in use in an iRoomba or a conceptual coffee robot, A.I. can be seen around us. 

As a new Editor-in-Chief, I was faced with analyzing about 150 years worth of data this summer, as well as developing creative solutions for our team to become the best newspaper they could be.

I am particularly excited about its benefits because as engineers, many of the tasks we perform today will soon be redundant. 

A.I. depends on data regardless of the platform used. Take for instance, data analysis of oil reservoirs to determine faults.

A.I. can serve as a diagnosis tool to predict massive amounts of data and to draw conclusions. 

The fields of deep learning and machine learning provide tools that can aid engineers and scientists in making decisions. 

But we can’t always be lovey-dovey to all things A.I. There are some challenges that we must face: hardware, software and even ethical challenges. 

Can we develop hardware infrastructure that can run the required datasets? Perhaps the answer can be found in high performance computing. 

What language softwares  can be used to write codes that are adaptable to high-level and low-level functions?

What is the limit of developments we can make in a certain period in A.I.? 

These are just some of the questions that come to mind.

I believe that A.I. can help news media to be more proactive, especially when the human component doesn’t have the resources to learn from large amounts of data. 

Feature photo: An A.I. virtual news reader based on Xinhua news anchor Qiu Hao, at a conference in Wuzhen town of Zhejiang province in China. (courtesy of Reuters)

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