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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Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

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Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

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Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Burt Herman   Things get real

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

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

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Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

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

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

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Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

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Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

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

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Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

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

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Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

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Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

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Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

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Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

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