Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Okay, if Facebook and Google aren’t publishers: How about editors?
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Aug. 3, 2017, 10 a.m.
Audience & Social
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   August 3, 2017

AI to reduce news bias? A Facebook recommendation widget for a site’s own news stories? Facebook’s engineering team has held hackathons for news organizations in four cities — NYC, London, Hamburg, and Paris — over the past few months. In a Thursday blog post, Piyush Mangalick, Facebook’s partner engineering director, outlined a couple of the projects that teams have come up with. (One of them was Flipside, The Huffington Post’s tool to help people see more perspectives in news.)

IBM Watson to reduce media bias. IBM developed Balance, which uses its Watson to analyze sentiment in news stories, then provide stories from multiple perspectives. “IBM Watson focused on emotional sentiments such as fear, joy, anger, sadness and disgust to compare and contrast different articles and social media content,” said Dann Cunnington, IBM’s emerging technology specialist. A demo is here.

A recommendation widget based on Facebook reactions. A team from Funke Mediengruppe (the parent company of Berliner Morgenpost) came up with a widget that would recommend and display Morgenpost stories based on which have gotten the most reactions over 30 days. The hope is that “our readers will be able to understand debates and opinions on Facebook much better,” said Patrick Liesener, Morgenpost’s product manager.

The hackathons were run as part of the Facebook Journalism Project, an initiative that launched in January to try, at a fraught time, to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry.

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