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With Nick Diakopoulos (Prof., Northwestern University).
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 06:00 PM   Absolutely Free
Newmark Grad School of Journalism at CUNY, 219 W 40th St

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From hidden connections in big data to bots spreading fake news, journalism is increasingly computer-generated. An expert in computer science & media, Nick Diakopoulos will deliver a multimedia presentation on the present & future of a world in which news is created by algorithm.

Amid the push for self-driving cars & the roboticization of industrial economies, automation has proven one of the biggest news stories of our time. Yet the wide-scale automation of the news itself has largely escaped attention. In this lively expos of that rapidly shifting terrain drawing on his new book, Diakopoulos focuses on the people who tell the storiesincreasingly with the help of computer algorithms that are fundamentally changing the creation, dissemination, & reception of the news.

Diakopoulos reveals how machine learning & data mining have transformed investigative journalism. Newsbots converse with social media audiences, distributing stories & receiving feedback. Online media has become a platform for A/B testing of content, helping journalists to better understand what moves audiences. Algorithms can even draft certain kinds of stories. These techniques enable media organizations to take advantage of experiments & economies of scale, enhancing the sustainability of the fourth estate. But they also place pressure on editorial decision-making, because they allow journalists to produce more stories, sometimes better ones, but rarely both.

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