Posted in Industry Insights

AP to develop 5 AI projects with local newsrooms 

, by Lauren Easton

As part of its ongoing efforts to help local newsrooms integrate automation and artificial intelligence technology, The Associated Press will tackle five AI projects stretching from Michigan to Puerto Rico.

The projects, which range from automated summaries of public meetings to the translation of news alerts, are aimed at expanding the application of AI in support of long-term business sustainability.

They include:

  • Automated writing of public safety incidents into the content management system of Minnesota newspaper Brainerd Dispatch.
  • Publication of Spanish-language news alerts using National Weather Service data in English by the newspaper El Vocero de Puerto Rico.
  • Automated transcription of recorded videos and summarizing the transcripts to create an article’s initial framework at San Antonio, Texas, television station KSAT-TV.
  • Sorting of news tips and coverage pitches from the public and automatically populating them into the coverage planner of Allentown, Pennsylvania, television station WFMZ-TV.
  • Expanding the Minutes application, which creates transcripts of city council meetings, to include summarization, keyword identification and reporter alerts, for staff at Michigan Radio’s WUOM-FM at the University of Michigan.

With the exception of the El Vocero de Puerto Rico initiative, the projects may harness GPT-3 technology.

Several dozen newsrooms pitched their ideas to AP and Northwestern University last year. These five projects were selected based on feasibility, ability to scale to the wider journalism industry, and whether they could be accomplished in a limited timeframe and within budget constraints.

Development support for the projects will come from students at the University of Missouri, Northwestern University and Stanford University. Students at Northwestern will also prepare case studies on each organization so other newsrooms can learn from these experiences. Code on four of the projects will be made open source.

This is the third phase of AP’s Local News AI initiative, which started in 2021 with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

AP will host a webinar on how newsrooms can use AI technologies on March 1 at 12 p.m. ET. Register here: