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AI success for publishers requires education, infrastructure as well as tech

By Lukas Görög

Die Presse

Vienna, Austria

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In today’s digital age, the publishing industry is undergoing a profound transformation, driven in large part by the advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

However, before delving deep into the uncountable AI tools available to publishers, it’s pivotal to underline a critical message: AI is not just about tools. True success in harnessing AI’s potential lies in focusing on holistic education, building robust data infrastructures, and developing a coherent AI strategy.

Artificial Intelligence tools make up only one piece of successful AI adoption in a media company.
Artificial Intelligence tools make up only one piece of successful AI adoption in a media company.

Here is an overview I believe should be considered by the media executives while designing the AI strategy.

Expanding arsenal of AI in publishing

While many associate AI in publishing primarily with tools like ChatGPT, the scope is much broader. Let’s dive deep into how AI is revolutionising different aspects of the publishing world.

Newsroom and product

AI offers the opportunity to create personalised content and recommendations. Serving users the right content at the right moment has always been important for high engagement. With proper user tracking and understanding, this goal becomes even more achievable.

AI not only predicts content performance but also enables editors to make informed decisions using predictive analytics. Recognising trends and seasonal content fluctuations and then forecasting them amplifies both relevance and quality.

A significant strategy for many publishers lies in written content. Converting podcasts and videos into text makes them more searchable by search engines like Google and Bing. Employing AI tools for speech recognition and transcription streamlines the process, particularly for long videos, offering substantial time savings.

Data journalism has always captivated newsroom audiences, even though it is time intensive. Utilising tools such as Code-Interpreter, Hugging Face, GitHub Copilot, and Web Scraping accelerates the crafting of compelling data stories.

Finally, there is gen AI content (pictures or text), which should only be used when you feel confident. Sometimes a distinctive AI image can set you apart from your competitors, and a concise AI article summary can enable you to craft postings for your social media channels more efficiently. Tools such as Dale 2, ChatGPT, and Midjourney can be very helpful.

Community and inclusion

Maintaining a positive community environment is crucial. AI not only filters out hate speech and toxic remarks but can also educate users in real time about why their comments were removed.

Additionally, the media’s role is to inform and educate, and promoting diversity and inclusivity in language is paramount. AI can enhance this endeavor, ensuring more inclusive language in articles.

Distribution and community building

Tools like ChatGPT elevate daily communications, making them more professional, especially when using easy-to-adapt applications.

Delivering journalism to users, even when they’re off-screen, is feasible with adeptly trained AI reading bots. While the endeavor has historically been time-intensive and costly, the goal is to infuse the reading AI with a human touch. A more emotionally driven approach — varying tones of voice and inflections — resonates more with listeners.

Additionally, video consistently drives engagement. Transforming conventional articles and images into dynamic video content with tools like Gen-2 can significantly boost your social media presence.

The prerequisites: education, infrastructure, and good data

While the AI tools are undeniably transformative, there’s an inherent danger in diving in headfirst without a proper foundation. This is where the importance of education and understanding the broader scope of AI comes into play.

Instead of merely adopting AI technologies on a whim, it’s vital to invest time and resources to grasp the nuances, capabilities, and limitations of AI. Remember, while AI in itself won’t solve all your problems, a well-informed individual, backed by quality AI training, certainly can tackle many of them.

However, it’s not just about understanding AI, but also about ensuring that the AI operates effectively. At the core of this operation is data — the lifeblood of any AI system. Here’s where the significance of data quality, tracking, and infrastructure becomes paramount.

First, consider the data quality. Garbage in, garbage out. The quality of data fed into an AI system determines the quality of its output. If your data is riddled with inaccuracies, inconsistencies, or biases, your AI tools will reflect the same. Thus, it’s imperative to have mechanisms in place that ensure clean, accurate, and unbiased data.

Also, before fully embracing AI, publishers need to lay down a strong data foundation. Building a central data warehouse is an excellent first step. It provides a consolidated space where data can be transformed and stored after extraction, ensuring its ready availability and integrity for AI applications.

Considering further expansions like Data Lakes or specialised storage solutions can help cater to diverse data needs, ensuring that your AI tools have the best resources to function optimally.

Crafting a solid AI strategy and building the right team

Remember, the power of AI doesn’t lie solely in the tools but in the strategy behind their implementation. For a holistic AI transformation align AI initiatives with your organisational goals. Then, educate your team on AI’s potential and its ethical implications. Additionally, invest in building a minimal viable AI team. A skilled team will ensure your AI initiatives are always on track.

Conclusion

While AI offers a plethora of tools that can significantly enhance the publishing industry’s workflow and output, a piecemeal approach won’t yield the desired results. The focus should be on a holistic AI transformation that combines the right tools, education, infrastructure, and strategy. Only then can the true potential of AI in publishing be fully unlocked.

About Lukas Görög

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