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August 11, 2020

DPC - Google virtual workshop discusses the use of Machine Learning and AI technologies in the news industry

DPC - Google virtual workshop discusses the use of Machine Learning and AI technologies in the news industry
Local and regional journalists participate in two-day session
The Dubai Press Club (DPC), in collaboration with Google News Initiative, held a virtual workshop on the use of Machine Learning and other Artificial Intelligence-powered technologies for journalists and the media.

The two-day session served as an introduction on how AI and Machine Learning (ML) can be leveraged to enhance the newsgathering process. More than 200 journalists based in the UAE and abroad tuned into the session, which was delivered under the Google News Initiative, a programme that strives to support quality journalism globally and train journalists on the latest Google tools.

Machine Learning and AI technologies have been deployed in almost every industry in the world. A wide range of organisations have adopted these technologies to handle redundant tasks and processes which help minimise costs and increase productivity. In the media industry, AI and Machine Learning have raised the efficiency of various tasks ranging from fact-checking to analysis of vast amounts of data.
Maitha Buhumaid, Director of the Dubai Press Club said: “We are pleased to work with a reputed global technology company like Google to train journalists on how they can benefit from Machine Learning and AI technologies in their everyday work. The session outlined the fundamentals of machine learning and how newsrooms around the world are using these technologies to enhance their operations.”

Buhumaid added that the virtual workshop is part of a series of virtual events being organised by DPC to continue supporting regional media development even in the current environment.

Samya Ayish, Teaching Fellow, MENA at Google News Lab who led the virtual workshop, said “New technologies such as artificial intelligence are increasingly playing a role in facilitating news gathering, production and distribution. The workshop, held in partnership with Dubai Press Club, aims to help journalists enhance their understanding of these technologies so that they can use them more effectively and to help facilitate their work."

The session focused on four modules, including how journalists can use ML, how a machine can learn, bias in machine learning and the future of ML-powered journalism. Case studies helped journalists understand how ML has been used in the media industry, how ML bias occurs and how it can be avoided. Trainees were also given a step-by-step overview of the ML training process.

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