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AI Can Save Journalism, or AI Will Replace Journalists – Which is It?

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By John P. Desmond, AI Trends Editor

AI can potentially save journalism, or AI is going to take over some writing and take away even more jobs – which is it?

In the optimistic view, the future of journalism could lie in AI, according to a new book from Francesco Marconi, a professor of journalism at Columbia University in New York, Newsmakers, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Journalism. He was head of the media lab at the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, one of the largest news organizations in the world.

The journalism world is not keeping pace with new technologies, so newsrooms need to use what AI can offer and come up with a new business model, suggests Patrick White, a professor of journalism at the University of Quebec, writing about Marconi’s book in The Conversation.  White was the founder of the Quebec edition of Huffington Post, which is managed from 2011 to 2018. He has a range of experience in Canadian print and television journalism.

Patrick White, professor of journalism, University of Quebec

“AI needs to be at the heart of journalism’s business model in the future,” White writes, noting several examples of how AI is used by newsrooms today. The Canadian Press news agency developed a system to speed up translations based on AI. The Agence France-Presse ( AFP) news agency uses AI to detect doctored photos.

“Artificial intelligence is not there to replace journalists or eliminate jobs,” states White, noting that AI is expected to take over eight to 12% of reporters current tasks. Editors and journalists will reorient to long-form journalism, feature interviews, analysis, data-driven journalism and investigative journalism that the machines so far have not been able to generate.

At the Associated Press for example, AI robots perform basic tasks such as writing two to six paragraphs on sports scores and for quarterly business earnings reports. AI bots help the Washington Post with election results and Olympic results. Bloomberg News has AI robots scanning large databases, seeing alerts as trends or anomalies emerge. The reporters decide which ones to follow up, doing the work of fact-checking, putting the information in context and conducting interviews. “AI can hardly replace this. In this sense, humans must remain central to the entire journalistic process,” states White.

He concurs with Marcone that the media must develop new business models and take advantage of what AI has to offer. New models include: paid subscriptions, paywalls, newsletter, events, podcast and videos. “In this sense, AI is part of a new business model based on breaking down media silos,” White states.

Microsoft Cuts Human News Contractors, Replaces Them with AI

Less optimistic is news that Microsoft recently cut some 50 news production contractors working at MSN and plans to use AI to replace them, according to a recent report in The Seattle Times.  The contractors were recently notified their services would not be required beyond June 30.

They quoted a Microsoft spokesman on the moves: “Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some place and from time to time, redeployment in others.”

Full-time news producers employed by Microsoft will be retained, performing functions similar to those released apparently. Some contractors quoted anonymously said the AI is using algorithms to identify trending news stories from dozens of publishing partners, and is helping to rewrite headlines and add better photos or slide shows to accompany content.

“It’s been semi-automated for a few months, but now it’s full speed ahead,” one of the terminated contractors was quoted as saying. “It’s demoralizing to think machines can replace us but there you go.”

Virtual AI News Anchors Maturing, Spreading in China

News from China is potentially more grim.

Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, recently released its latest artificial intelligence 3D news anchor, expanding a growing list of virtual presenters  being developed by the agency, according to an account in UniteAI.

The new AI news anchor, named Xin Xiaowei, is modeled after Zhao Wanwei, one of the agency’s human news presenters.

According to the search engine company Sogou, which co-developed the technology, the new AI anchor utilizes “multi-modal recognition and synthesis, facial recognition and animation and transfer learning.”

[Ed. Note: The adjectives warm and fuzzy would not apply to the video demonstration linked to the announcement from Xinhua.]

Xinhua and Sogou have been working on virtual presenters for several years. The digital anchor Qiu Ho was launched in 2018; a Russian-speaking version was added in 2019. At the World Internet Conference in 2018, the companies demonstrated two different AI news anchors, identical in appearance, but one speaking English and the other, Mandarin.

To develop the first models, hours of video footage was studied to replicate the movements,  expressions and other features of real-life anchors. “AI anchors have officially become members of Xinhua’s reporting team,” Xinhua stated in a report released in 2018. The virtual anchors have been used on channels including WeChat, Weibo and Xinhua’s English and Chinese apps.

[Ed. Note: I will take my chances with human anchors for the time being, nothing against animation.]

Read the source articles in The Conversation, The Seattle Times and in UniteAI.

Source: https://www.aitrends.com/ethics-and-social-issues/ai-can-save-journalism-or-ai-will-replace-journalists-which-is-it/

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I Disagree With Armostrong: Ripple CEO on Coinbase Apolitical Policy

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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse is the latest popular individual to criticize the apolitical approach recently taken by the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Just the opposite, Ripple has offered employees paid time off to vote and volunteer in the upcoming US Presidential elections.

Ripple CEO Disagrees With Coinbase CEO

Brian Armstrong, the Chief Executive Officer of the veteran US-based digital asset platform Coinbase, raised lots of controversies recently after a blog post. He argued that his company should remain laser-focused on its mission to ascend as a cryptocurrency exchange and its employees need to avert from any political discussions or endeavors.

This so-called “apolitical” approach received reactions from people within and outside of the cryptocurrency space. Most, such as Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, criticized Armstrong’s actions.

The latest to join the “I don’t agree with Armstrong bandwagon” is Brad Garlinghouse – the CEO of the payment protocol Ripple. He asserted that technology companies have the “obligation” to assist with solving social issues.

“We think about our mission as enabling an internet of value, but we seek positive outcomes for society. I think tech companies have an opportunity – but actually an obligation – to lean into being part of the solution.”

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Source: Fortune
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Source: Fortune

He called some of these social problems “exacerbated” by the tech sectors. As such, Ripple has decided to take the precisely opposite approach. The Silicon Valley-based company will offer its employees paid time off to volunteer and vote in the upcoming US Presidential elections.

It’s worth noting that Coinbase has seen at least 5% of its staff leaving following Armstrong’s apolitical urge. The exchange offered “generous exit packages” to all that disagreed with its politics.

Garlinghouse On The Ongoing YouTube Legal Battle

As CryptoPotato reported in April, Ripple filed a lawsuit against the most widely used video-sharing platform – YouTube. Ripple claimed that the Google-owned giant hadn’t done enough to fight the growing number of fake giveaways impersonating company executives and duping thousands and thousands of dollars from victims.

During the CNBC interview, Garlinghouse used the opportunity to criticize YouTube and its lack of appropriate actions once more. He doubled-down that Ripple doesn’t do such giveaways, and people need to be extremely cautious when they see one, even if it’s on a trusted platform.

“We didn’t need to do that [giveaways]; it doesn’t help Ripple. But what it highlights is that platforms need to take ownership of the problems they are contributing to.”

Featured Image Courtesy of VOX

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/i-disagree-with-armostrong-ripple-ceo-on-coinbase-apolitical-policy/

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The PayPal Effect: Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya And Libra’s Chief Believe Banks Will Support Bitcoin

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PayPal’s decision to enable its users to interact with cryptocurrencies directly on its platform continues to attract popular individuals’ attention. The latest to acknowledge the significance of this move were the Head of Facebook Financial, David Marcus, and Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya.

Banks Will Follow PayPal, Says Marcus

Arguably the most significant piece of news recently came last week when the giant online payment processor PayPal announced it will soon enable its US-based customer to purchase, sell, and store several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Clients based outside the US will have this option available next year.

Apart from the immediate price reaction the news had on the cryptocurrency market, the community also accepted the announcement as a significantly bullish development.

In fact, most believe that this is just the beginning, and more centralized and trusted establishments, such as banks, will follow suit. Co-creator and board member of Facebook’s future cryptocurrency Libra, David Marcus, also weighed in on the news.

He asserted that the cryptocurrency industry is “turning a corner” as banks will pursue Bitcoin and stablecoins support.

Bitcoin Is No Longer Optional

Another famous individual to comment on the PayPal developments was the Social Capital CEO and former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya.

Being also a vocal supporter of Bitcoin, Palihapitiya, similarly to Marcus, highlighted that “every major bank is having a meeting about how to support Bitcoin. It’s no longer optional…”

Palihapitiya recently said that his first BTC purchase came at the start of the previous decade. He bought one million bitcoins for $80. Later on, he outlined the primary cryptocurrency as his best investment bet.

Social Capital’s CEO has also urged the public numerous times to allocate at least 1% of their investment portfolio in Bitcoin. He said that having such allocation helps him sleep “soundly at night.”

He also advised that people should avert from short-term price actions. Instead, he focuses on the long-term, knowing that Bitcoin’s fundamentally different attributes will protect him against the falling current financial infrastructure.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/the-paypal-effect-billionaire-chamath-palihapitiya-and-libras-chief-believe-banks-will-support-bitcoin/

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BTC Price Analysis: Bitcoin Weakens As Wall Street In Deep Red, Is $14K Target Intact?

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Bitcoin’s price remains stuck under the key 0.618 Fibonacci level at $13,360 going into this week after little bullish momentum arrived during the opening of the US traditional markets. Wall Street, meanwhile, is painted in red.

Over shorter timeframes, it’s clear that the general sentiment is still bullish as the leading asset continues to print higher lows. However, trading volumes are beginning to decline, and there’s a growing divergence between the RSI and price action, which suggests things may turn bearish soon.

Since the Paypal news broke on October 21, over $33 billion has flooded back into the crypto space and helped the leading asset’s market dominance break back over 61% for the first time since August 2, 2020.

Price Levels to Watch in the Short-term

On the weekly BTC/USD chart, we can see that the main resistance area (red shaded zone) standing in the way of Bitcoin right now is the aforementioned Fibonacci level and the June 24, 2019 high at $13,950.

This top price point also overlaps with the upper resistance of the broadening wedge pattern (yellow lines) that BTC has been tracking inside of since April 27, which makes it a particularly strong level for bulls to overcome.

If momentum picks up again, however, and bulls manage to set a new 490+-day high, then the next likely areas of resistance will probably lie somewhere around the psychological $14K mark, the $14,400 level, and $14,600.

If the strong bearish divergence on the 4-hour timeframe plays out (light blue lines), we should expect the first area of support at the 50 EMA at $12,600, followed by the first major support zone (green shaded area) between $12,300 and $11,950. Under that, we also have the 0.5 Fibonacci level at $11,400 and the support line of the broadening wedge pattern approximately around $11K to catch any dips if prices decline further.

Total market capital: $401 billion
Bitcoin market capital: $243 billion
Bitcoin dominance: 60.5%

*Data by Coingecko.

Bitstamp BTC/USD Weekly Chart

bitcoin trading
BTC/USD chart via Tradingview.

Bitstamp BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart

Bitcoin trading BTC
BTC/USD chart via Tradingview.
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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/btc-price-analysis-bitcoin-weakens-as-wall-street-in-deep-red-is-14k-target-intact/

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