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Semafor Employs AI Tool MISO to Revolutionize News Curation

Introducing Signals: A New Era of News Aggregation

In an evolving digital landscape where website traffic is becoming increasingly pivotal, Semafor has announced the launch of a new web product known as Signals. This innovative offering aims to aggregate and summarize coverage on major daily stories from various sources across the web, providing a centralized and curated news experience.

MISO: Powering Multilingual News Discovery

At the core of this product is an AI-powered search tool dubbed MISO (Multilingual Insight Search Optimizer). Developed in partnership with Microsoft, utilizing Bing’s search engine and built on OpenAI’s platform, MISO enables Semafor reporters to efficiently scour the web for content in multiple languages. According to Gina Chua, Semafor’s executive editor, this tool enhances the ability to discover content beyond the usual sources, especially from non-English websites.

While MISO’s technology underpins the curation process, the final curated content — the Signals — are the result of human editorial judgment. Semafor stresses that the insights presented are carefully selected by reporters for their relevance and interest to the topic at hand.

Currently operational in English, Spanish, and Chinese, MISO has plans for expansion, with models in development for Japanese, Hindi, German, French, Arabic, and other languages. This multilingual capability exemplifies Semafor’s commitment to broadening its news coverage and accessibility.

The Future of Journalism and AI Integration

Despite the advanced technology, Semafor acknowledges the limits of AI in news curation. An example of this was illustrated when the AI tool failed to retrieve content from The New York Times, which has restricted OpenAI’s crawler access, highlighting areas where human reporters maintain an advantage.

The introduction of Signals marks a shift for Semafor, from a newsletter-focused outlet to a more web-centric approach. Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith envisions the website’s future design to be centered around Signals, indicating a strategic emphasis on web presence over other mediums.

Furthermore, Semafor is actively participating in research with Microsoft to explore responsible AI usage in journalism. This is part of a broader initiative as media outlets worldwide begin to navigate the integration of AI tools within journalistic practices.

As Semafor adapts to the changing tides of online media consumption, its bet on the web and emergent social media platforms like Mastodon and Threads suggests a trend that could gain traction across the news industry. Signals is poised to become a cornerstone of Semafor’s web strategy, capitalizing on the shift toward federated platforms and the next generation of social media.

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