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Regional daily starts using AI to summarise stories

A regional daily has begun using artificial intelligence to summarise longer stories for its readers.

The Reach-owned Nottingham Post has announced the launch of the experiment, which uses an AI tool to provide a bullet point summary at the top of some of the longer stories posted on its Nottinghamshire Live sister website.

The Post AI-generated summaries are checked by a news editor before being posted.

A note is also included with any story making use of the technology to let readers know this is the case.

An example of the use of AI on the Nottinghamshire Live website

An example of the use of AI on the Nottinghamshire Live website

Announcing the experiment in a letter to readers on Tuesday, Post editor Natalie Fahy wrote: “At Nottinghamshire Live we always aim to give our readers the best experience.

“Whether that’s being first with breaking news, or offering you insight and opinion on what’s going on in your neighbourhood, we pride ourselves on being the biggest and most trusted source of news in Nottinghamshire.

“We also like to try and take advantage of new developments in our industry when the opportunity presents, and if we think it will be right for us and for readers.

“That’s the reason I am writing to you today: to let you know about a new experiment we are running across our site involving artificial intelligence tools.

“You might see a bullet point summary at the top of some of our longer articles, which we hope will help you get a sense of what you’re about to read and improve the experience for you.”

“We may also try some further AI experiments in the future, but we’ll always let our readers know what we’re doing. I would love to know what you think about these summaries if you come across them.”

Reach first began experimenting with AI earlier this year, while rival Newsquest has appointed AI-powered reporter Erin Gaskell to expand the company’s use of the technology.

Earlier this week, National World announced it will use robots to ensure “purely local content” appears in its weekly newspapers.

But in May, Reading Today editor Phil Creighton issued a warning to the industry after a robot produced inaccurate information and cited “fictitious” sources when it was asked to write NIBs for his newspaper.

And an HTFP investigation into newly-launched local news title the Bournemouth Observer raised further questions about the use of AI after police were unable to verify two crime stories that appeared on the website.