Handing over all editing power to AI, or a self-learning algorithm, raises concerns about “filter bubbles” and “echo chambers”.
The digital paradigm is rapidly restructuring the entire business model of the media industry. The end-users are no longer driven by content. On-demand delivery is the new buzz word for consumers who want the latest information to be served in a device of their choice. This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes into the picture. After all, need is the mother of new technologies, and AI is no different.
Media players have started acknowledging the increasing role of AI in transforming the way media houses create content and present them to viewers. Data-driven intelligence and self-learning abilities help AI develop superior prediction engines that offer cutting-edge analytics and business intelligence to media enterprises. The new technology is being used for forecasting, analyzing data and ultimately improving campaign performance. All this ultimately helps marketers in resetting strategy and reallocating resources in real-time.
In the case of social media, for example, Artificial Intelligence enables marketers in getting closer to their audience and understand their preferences. This helps them target their ads in a better way and create content in an enhanced way. AI tools also help social media marketers track and analyze their every move. They are able to track user-engagement, the performance of an ad on the social media platform and can get amazing insights about the content they post.
But everything is not rosy when it comes to the use of this advanced technology. After all, excess of anything is bad. AI, in its own way, gets into the personal space of end-users. It lets a media owner know everything about the users, starting from their search patterns to their purchase history. All of this may lead to the over-personalization of content.
Facebook’s algorithm, generally, suggests news articles to users based on the mastheads and channels they had shown a preference for in the past or of topics that may appeal to them based on their search history and social media interactions. But what would happen if algorithms like these become the curators of the entire news media experience? The news mix that one receives online is increasingly being curated based on the person’s behavior and traits. The news items an individual sees may differ from what his or her neighbor or even partner looks at.
Handing over all editing power to AI, or a self-learning algorithm, raises concerns about “filter bubbles” and “echo chambers”. There is not much potential for discovery or serendipity. AI tools generally feed a person more of the same every time he or she scrolls the internet.
The coming years are expected to be dominated by discussions about the ethics and regulation of digital services, particularly the utilization of users’ data to generate artificial intelligence. One is likely to witness an increase in experimentation with voice assistants such as Siri, Google, and Alexa reading the news. There will also be talks to regulate tech giants such as Google and Facebook ‑ the brands that set the trends for media outlets.
Last but not the least, those who work in the media industry need not be unnerved by the idea of being replaced by artificial intelligence or any other software. Every technology, however self-efficient it may appear, needs human beings to run it. Kindle didn’t replace books. Televisions couldn’t kill radios. Thus, one needs not to worry even if at some point in time media activities are handed over completely to robots.
It’s now an open secret that the face of the media industry is changing rapidly with the increased use of artificial intelligence. But human beings should not worry much. All they need is to be more proactive and adaptable to the new environment.