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Google’s Digital News Initiative supports a new way to produce news using Arria NLG

GOOGLE awarded the Press Association (PA), the UK’s national news agency, and Urbs Media, a data-driven news creator, a grant worth $830,000 to help fund RADAR, a new service using Arria’s Natural Language Generation (NLG) software to transform journalism across Europe’s news industry. The grant issued in July 2017 was one of the largest to date allocated from Google’s Digital News Initiative (DNI) Innovation Fund – a €150m commitment from the company to stimulate and support innovation in digital journalism across Europe’s news industry.

RADAR (Reporters and Data and Robots) was founded to meet the ever increasing demand for fact-based insights into local communities with the goal of creating up to 30,000 localized stories a month from open data sets. Arria NLG Studio has made this possible.

Stories have already appeared in 20 daily and weekly titles, both online and in print. As the service ramps up over the coming months, in parallel the RADAR team will be introducing new channels to distribute these large volumes of stories to local news outlets.

“We believe these are the first automated local news stories published in established news brands anywhere in the world. We’re delighted to be up and running with a great user group who are already helping to steer our thinking on the topics and style of the stories we generate.” —Urbs Media, Gary Rogers, Editor-in-Chief

“Skilled human journalists will still be vital in the process,” said Peter Clifton, the editor in chief of the Press Association in a statement. “But Radar allows us to harness artificial intelligence to scale up to a volume of local stories that would be impossible to provide manually.”

Urbs Media CEO, Alan Renwick Shares His Experience Using Studio:

“We use Arria Studio to mass-localize data-driven stories. Studio is well-suited to the needs of journalists working in a fast, deadline-driven environment. It allows us to leverage our journalists’ skills and effort.”

“We also wanted to put NLG in the hands of the journalists, so they could use it as their main writing tool. NLG Studio had a number of advantages. The mark up mode makes getting started in NLG work simple and non-threatening for writers who do not come from a coding background. It enabled us to get journalists quickly up to speed.”

“From the start, the team at Arria was very engaged with our ambitions and responsive to our particular needs. They have been an invaluable source of support and advice in helping us bring NLG into the newsroom.”

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At Arria, we’re pleased to be working with Urbs Media and the PA on this exciting, far-reaching initiative partially funded by Google. This is just one of the many areas where Arria NLG is making major inroads by empowering journalists, writers, analysts, data scientists, and developers alike to build their own NLG solutions.

To read more about this exciting news, see the following articles:

FORBES:
How artificial intelligence will transform news and journalism

RECODE:
Google is funding a new software project that will automate writing local news

THE GUARDIAN:
Press Association wins Google grant to run news service written by computers

PRESS GAZETTE:
First robot-written stories make it into print in ‘world-first’ for journalism industry

PRESS ASSOCIATION:
Automated news service underway as RADAR makes its first editorial hires

For more about Arria NLG Studio, please visit our website.

For additional information, visit www.arria.com. Follow Arria NLG on Twitter, LinkedIn, 
Facebook, and YouTube.

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