Artifact, the new app developed by Instagram’s founders, could rival Twitter for reading news and lifestyle articles.
The latest thing making waves on social media is a new text-based news app powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) called Artifact.
Dubbed as the “TikTok of news”, it was developed by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who founded and then sold the photo-sharing app Instagram to Facebook in 2012.
But what is it? In essence, Artifact is a personalized news feed that – like TikTok – uses machine learning to understand your interests and with the help of an algorithm, suggests stories – but not videos – that you might be interested in .
The beauty of the platform is that it was designed to avoid so-called “filter bubbles” – an ideologically biased situation that can occur when an algorithm selectively infers and filters out what you think is past click behavior. Based on what information you want to see.
It’s even more interesting considering how news consumption is changing.
part of the people reading news online In the European Union it was over 60 percent in 2022. But despite a significantly higher number of informed citizens, 2022 was also a year when more people were getting their news through social media rather than news websites.
Reuters Institute digital news report 2022 It is said that last year, the preference for social media for news reading increased by five percentage points over direct news websites.
This means people are consuming information more frequently, faster, shorter and more concise. But can an app like Artifact act as an intermediary?
According to Systrom, it could become a potential competitor to social media platforms like Twitter for reading news and lifestyle articles.
“This is an especially timely moment in the technology industry, given Twitter’s acquisition by Elon and Facebook’s focus on the metaverse,” he added. financial Times,
I Tried Artifact: How Does It Work?
Once you’ve downloaded it and registered an account, Artifact asks you to choose 10 or more topics of interest, then prompts you to read at least 25 articles to get to know you better. Get. “The feed,” it says, “improves every time you read”.
As always, the selection of subjects is almost an exercise in self-deception. I chose topics relevant to my job: tech companies, start-ups, AI, space, education, science, and health.
Once you’ve selected topics of interest, the application allows you to add in any paid subscriptions you may have to various publications to prioritize them in your feed, such as The New York Times. , The Atlantic, Vogue, The Economist, and so on. ,
Then things really start.
It didn’t take Artifact long to realize that my real topics of interest weren’t strictly the ones I’m actively working on, but mental health, exercise, relationships (busted!) and interior design.
After reading 25 articles, AI and tech companies were last on an infographic summarizing my most favorite categories, according to the app.
The more I read, the more beautifully selected the stories in my feed were: ‘How young couples talk about money in relationships,’ ‘We’re talking about the lab-leaked hypothesis that’s got it all wrong,’ ‘ ‘What language does your heart speak,’ ‘ ‘Spotify’s latest feature gives you an AI-powered personal DJ,’ ‘How a couple transformed this two-family home in Brooklyn’.
For anyone reading this who does not know me, these may be great revelations about me and my personality.
Artifact’s algorithm recommends a lot of opinion articles to me, as well as a significant number of listicles, and a few obvious click-bait articles here and there. There are also several US-based stories, even though I’m based in France.
Ultimately, the app didn’t hook me, and I stopped using it after completing my research for this assignment. However, the notifications are still on, and surprisingly, they don’t bother me or intrude. Push banners are interesting, informative and less engaging than Instagram, which makes them much less draining.
AI-powered summaries and a ‘clickbait’ warning
What effect the artifact will have compared to how TikTok’s algorithm works remains to be seen. But its promise is certainly intriguing, an app that’s betting on doomscrolling people actually taking the time to read content.
One piece of good news worth noting is that Artifact aims to fuel its algorithms with content that may challenge earlier views.
This is especially powerful at a time when, on nearly every continent, supporters of rival political camps are increasingly polarized and likely to interact in more hostile ways than they did a few decades ago. Report of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,
“It’s really important for us to dedicate some portion of the feed that we wouldn’t normally see to tangential interests, other sides of issues, publishers,” Systrom told the Financial Times.
Artifact also operates with a strict list of select sources that it will bring to users’ feeds, as its co-founders seek to ensure the quality of news and information.
The app has introduced several updates since its launch in January.
Those too busy to read the full article — or those who prefer a preview before diving in — can see AI-powered summaries in various styles (including the famous ChatGPT prompt “Explain Like I’m Five”) that pop up above the story. Will be up
Artifact now allows users to follow individual authors, comment on articles and react to them using various emoji, but also report clickbait and misleading headlines.
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