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Robot-driven digital journalism arrives at MittMedia

MittMedia is on the frontline in Sweden in developing robotic written local.

MittMedia believes personalised content that gives the audience at the local level opportunity to find just “their news” is one key to success, Robin Govik, editorial director for business development at Mittmedia, explained during a 7-minute Brainsnacks session at the INMA European Media Conference in Budapest, Hungary.

But it requires much more local content than anyone is producing today, so robot-written articles can be a good solution.

At 5.30 a.m. every day, the robot algorithm prepares 45 local weather forecasts for nine MittMedia Web sites. Another text robot is a member of analytics team, delivering good or bad news of how they’re doing online.

So, why use text robots? Govik says they are fast, efficient, and can do things reporters can’t.

MittMedia is using robots in their apps as well. They deliver news that users really care about (news in the closest area to the user). Within the app, the user is asked for the precise location he's interested in. Next, he’s asked for preferences and interests.

The app works with push notifications, sending messages that may not be interesting for the general ublic, but are targeted for specific interest, Govik said. The hyperlocal app, developed in-house, focuses on cities and neighborhoods.

Robot algorithms are also time and cost efficient. It took one developer just weeks to finish the weather robot, while another two weeks were needed to implement it into the system.

The next step for MittMedia is the football robot. Developers teamed up with the leading sports Web service to develop a robot for football scores and reportings. The goal is to reach 400 articles a day prepared by the robot, with texts pushed to users minutes after the game has ended.

About Marek Miller

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