25Press Association: Using Artificial Intelligence To Cover Local News Stories

The Press Association (commonly referred to as PA) is a UK-based news agency that provides text and video news stories, photography, copywriting, TV listings and sports coverage to local, regional and national newspapers, magazines and TV stations across the country.

In 2017, it announced a partnership with Urbs Media to roll out news stories written by artificial intelligence (AI) “journalists” to local newspapers.

What Problems Is Artificial Intelligence Helping To Solve?

The local news industry in the United Kingdom has been in decline since the arrival of the internet, with more people turning to social media and online sites to keep up with local events. This has led to newspapers closing and journalists being made redundant.1

This has left a gap that has been described as “dangerous for democracy”. Local newspapers in effect operated as the “eyes and ears” of the general public into local political matters and regional administration, as well as matters involving healthcare and criminal justice.

Without reporters covering these beats, the public can't hold local authorities to account, and demand answers when they are needed.

How Is Artificial Intelligence Used In Practice?

PA partnered with data-driven journalism specialists Urbs Media to build an AI system capable of mass-producing localized news stories based on data that is fed into it.

While still employing human journalists to pinpoint ...

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