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Google launches Journalist Studio with AI data tools

Posted on: October 16, 2020 by Mariella Brown

Google News Initiative has announced a suite of tools that use technology to help reporters do their work more efficiently when working with data.

The Journalist Studio contains tools such as Pinpoint – an alternative to “Ctrl + F” – which uses AI to help reporters quickly go through thousands of documents by automatically identifying and organising the most frequently mentioned people, organisations, and locations.

The tool has already been implemented in investigative projects such as a report by USA Today which revealed 40,600 Covid-19 related deaths tied to US nursing homes.

The tech studio’s second tool allows reporters to create data visualisations and interactive charts from thousands of open source datapoints. Named the Common Knowledge Project, Google has said the aim of the tool was to create a “new way for journalists to explore, visualize and share data about important issues in their local communities.”

Megan H. Chan, News Ecosystem Lead for Google said:

“From long-term investigative projects that expose wrongdoing to breaking news analysis of important court decisions, quality journalism often relies on giant collections of documents, images and audio recordings. Reporters are often faced with a tough choice: Take weeks and go it alone, enlist a team of colleagues or try to write a program to scrape the data. 

“Our team at Google spent the past two years working collaboratively with newsrooms to help tackle this problem. What would it look like if we put the best of Google’s search, AI and machine learning technology into the hands of reporters?”

As part of the Suite, Google has implemented a training centre to teach reporters how to use the data tools with online lessons available.

Chan added, “Quality journalism is critical to our societies. In launching these tools, we look forward to continuing to use the best of Google to support that important work.”