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Rappler wins AI in Journalism Challenge

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Rappler wins AI in Journalism Challenge
Rappler beats 113 newsrooms worldwide with TLDR, designed to provide clear, straightforward, and visual content for young media consumers

MANILA, Philippines – Rappler won the AI in Journalism Challenge (AIJC), a three-month competition that culminated at the Splice Beta Journalism Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on Thursday, November 9.

The AIJC sought to fund projects on AI workflows and tools with the goal of enhancing newsroom efficiency and better serving their audiences. Of the 113 newsrooms worldwide who applied to join, only 12 were chosen to participate in the program in August this year.

The AIJC conducted a series of workshops so that the participants could fine-tune their ideas, and then held a pitching session on October 12 where five finalists were selected.

Rappler, the only Filipino newsroom to make it to the finals, bested four other finalists during the AIJC Demo Day in Thailand on Thursday. The other finalists were Indonesia’s The Conversation, Brazil’s Agencia Publica, Colombia’s Cuestion Publica, and Zamaneh Media, an Iranian broadcaster operating in the Netherlands.

The Rappler team, represented by Don Kevin Hapal, Gilian Uy, and Matthew Yuching, was chosen as the winner by a panel of judges composed of Gina Chua from media startup Semafor, Marina Walker Guevara from the Pulitzer Center, Abhijit Das from Stichting Democratie en Media, and Valer Kot from the Media Development Investment Fund. The team won the £25,000 (P1.7 million) award.

Rappler presented TLDR, which utilizes AI to provide clear, straightforward, and visual content for young media consumers. TLDR – derived from the slang term Gen Z and millennials use that means “too long; didn’t read” – uses AI tools to convert Rappler stories into various derivatives including text summaries, graphics, and videos.

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Guidelines on artificial intelligence

Guidelines on artificial intelligence

TLDR aims to be a framework for integrating generative AI into newsrooms, by providing a soft entry into the AI landscape that will allow journalists, editors, and artists to explore practical AI applications in a fun and creative way and without intimidation.

In keeping with Rappler’s guidelines on AI tools, the TLDR project will use generative AI to serve as an aid to the employees and not as a replacement – underscoring the fundamental importance of human critical thinking, creativity, and judgment. Rappler is the first newsgroup in the Philippines to release guidelines on its adoption of AI tools.

In July, Rappler was also selected by OpenAI as one of the 10 organizations to conduct “experiments in setting up a democratic process for deciding on rules AI systems should follow within the bounds of law.” Rappler is currently developing aiDialogue, a prototype AI-moderated chat room that gathers insights for the vital question: How should AI systems behave?

The findings from this experiment will be submitted to OpenAI, the American research laboratory behind the large language model-based chatbot ChatGPT, to help the company make informed deliberations on how it should get inputs from the public about how its AI products should behave. –


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