'Watson the News' harnesses cognitive computing to help consumers of news become more conscientious and less biased readers
If you had access to the most powerful computer in the world, how would use it to help people live, work and play better? PSFK and IBM Watson have been collaborating through The Good Data Contest to find how IBM Watson’s capabilities can improve communities and spark a conversation around what cognitive computing will mean for our future.
The first runner-up is Watson the News, a platform aimed to help online news readers gain a more fully faceted understanding of newsworthy topics and one developed by the brand strategy and innovation agency Redscout.
In a world where the modern individual consumes more content than ever before, and 70 percent check their smartphone every six minutes, so much information is competing for our time and attention that we need a second ‘mind’ to harness it. To stay in touch, our news intake has become a skim-friendly version of layered journalism. We read The Daily Beast and The Skimm that present entire news stories distilled into mere sentences, subsequently leaving us knowing only the absolute minimum of any given topic. And in the absence of a full story, people are quick to accept memorable headlines as truth—and reluctant to dig deeper or think more critically
Watson the News aims to alleviate this sensationalist approach to news stories by making the reader aware of the aspects of a story they might be overlooking
Watson The News is an app that helps people dig into the news. Scanning a person’s news consumption by accessing mobile apps, online sources, social media and associated metadata, Watson evaluates missing information and potential biases on a given topic. Then, it delivers recommended reading from past or present that will round out the full story. Watson The News is hyper-targeted—users indicate how much knowledge they personally want to develop: from’ crash course’ to dissertation level. And it’s iterative—the more Watson learns about each reader, the more personalized his recommendations become, nudging them to investigate related topics.
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