Scooped by AI

“I’m not talking about computer-generated stories about earthquakes, earnings reports, or sports scores. These will be stories on your beat, written by humans who understand how to use machine learning to aid their reporting.”

In 2018, you will be scooped by a reporter using artificial intelligence.

Four years ago, ProPublica’s Scott Klein predicted “you will be scooped by a reporter who knows how to program.” And you were.

In the months ahead, some of those journo-programmers — and probably some grad students looking for strong, unique projects — will break big stories using machine learning. These will be important truths and facts invisible to humans alone.

I’m not talking about computer-generated stories about earthquakes, earnings reports, or sports scores. These will be stories on your beat, written by humans who understand how to use machine learning to aid their reporting.

It’s already happening:

  • ProPublica’s Jeremy Merrill to detect the issues uniquely important to each member of Congress.
  • BuzzFeed News’s Peter Aldhous, Christian Stork, and Charles Seife to identify surveillance aircraft run by the U.S. Marshals and military contractors.
  • The Atlantic’s Andrew McGill to figure out whether Donald Trump is writing his own tweets.

Over the past year, conversations around AI and journalism often ventured into worries about artificial intelligence being deployed to replace reporters. But in the new year, we’ll be talking about how often reporters deployed artificial intelligence to land big stories.

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Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

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Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

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Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

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Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

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Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

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Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Dan Newman   A return to trust

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Paul Ford   Go global

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Burt Herman   Things get real

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Errin Haines Whack   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

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