News production becomes automatic – meta editors are coming

News production is changing as the routine parts of editorial work are being automated. The University of Helsinki and VTT will explore how interesting and high-quality news can be produced automatically, as well as what kind of new user experiences can be offered.

In order to serve the increasingly demanding audiences in multiple digital channels, media houses are trying to automate the most routine editorial work. This way, the editors can concentrate on writing more challenging special stories and giving their audiences opportunities to immerse themselves in increasingly personalized news experiences.

The University of Helsinki and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd will research automatic news production where a personalised news experience is enabled by data and machine learning. Hyper locality and audience participation are the key elements here.

“Semi-automatic solutions will be the common practice: the editor will finalise the automatically produced text and define templates for automatic news generating programs. In the future, all editors will be, to some extent, meta editors”, believes VTT’s research professor Caj Södergård.

The degree of automation rises gradually

So far, automation has been trialed in news production by big actors, such as the American press agency AP (Associated Press), with writing analyses of financial statements for example. In addition to financial news, sports news is already automatically produced around the world.

“One can expect that producing other types of news can be automated up to a certain point depending on the availability of data. More demanding journalism – such as leading articles and in-depth articles – will remain the task of human journalists,” states the journalism researcher Carl-Gustav Lindén from Swedish School of Social Science, part of the University of Helsinki. 

“The University of Helsinki studies how data science can be applied to news production and its automation. We develop tools based on data mining and machine learning for journalists to streamline their work,” tells professor Hannu Toivonen from the department of computer science at University of Helsinki.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd studies how automatically produced content affects the audience and what promotes and prevents an immersive experience. VTT is also responsible for the demonstration of a news ecosystem and studies new ways to distribute content in cooperation with the technology companies participating in the project.

The main financier of the Immersive Automation project is Tekes through their Media remake program. Other financiers of the project are Media Industry Research Foundation of Finland, The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, Sanoma, Alma Media, Conmio, Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino, and KSF Media as well as the research institutions.

 

Immersive Automation project website: immersiveautomation.com

 

Photo: Cata Portin

 

 

Created date

07.02.2017 - 18:29

The Department of Computer Science celebrates its 50th Anniversary

#uhcs50

This year the Department of Computer Science of the University of Helsinki celebrates its 50th Anniversary. The festivities include a Jubilee Seminar on Thursday 31 August 2017, at 1-6 p.m., in the Great Hall of the University Main Building (Unioninkatu 34).

uhcs50.cs.helsinki.fi

Strategy Day of the Department 19.5. in Vuosaari

A hundred department members attended the department’s strategy seminar in sunny Vuosaari this year.   The event’s discussion topics included the transfer to the new faculty structure and new branches of research.

 

 

More details about the seminar  (Sasu's PP presentation).

The Department of Computer Science is a leading unit in its field

The Department of Computer Science is a leading unit in its field based on international rankings. The Department has the first position in Finland and third in the Nordic countries in the QS World University Rankings 2017. The Department has the first position in the Nordic Countries in the Times Higher Education 2017 Rankings

ZDNet wrote on the Ubispark project

ZDNet wrote on Feb 21st on the Ubispark project of the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki.

A smartphone today packs more computing power than the computers used by NASA in the Apollo space program. At the same time, the Internet of Things is bringing connectivity to a growing number of devices, from smart TVs to fridges. Now researchers at Finland's University of Helsinki want to harness all these computational resources in a project called Ubispark, which uses smart devices for energy-efficient distributed computing.