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Pakistani tech company develops AI journalist

This still image introducing the first artificial intelligent news writer was taken from a YouTube video. (base H via YouTube)
ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani tech company has developed an artificially intelligent journalist, the first of its kind, which can produce a complete news item in just a few seconds.

Dante is currently producing 350-word closing reports for the Pakistan Stock Exchange, as well as six-month charts and graphs showing market trends.

“This news-writing bot produces 100 percent original content in just two to three seconds after accessing relevant data from newswires, local and international media outlets,” Anis Shiekh, founder of baseH — the company that created Dante — told Arab News.

“It’s not going to replace reporters and editors. Rather, it will help newsroom staff carry out their work smoothly and quickly.”

Dante can automatically develop and maintain its own archive, and can provide context and background to articles.

“With Dante’s help, media outlets can produce endless original content as it neither sleeps nor tires,” Shiekh said, adding that it can easily produce content in different formats such as online, radio, print and television.

Content generated by Dante was shared with senior Pakistani journalists and editors for feedback.

“It was amazing,” Khurram Shahzad told Arab News. “It was so perfect that it hardly required any editing or even proofreading.”

The working prototype can quickly adapt to new writing styles, editorial policies and preferences, so it can easily be deployed anywhere.

Shiekh said numerous brokerage firms and media houses in Pakistan have expressed their interest in buying Dante, but baseH has decided to provide services via subscription only.

Regarding the company’s future plans, he said it is concentrating on tailoring Dante to produce content on the 2018 World Cup, and to write 700-800-word articles on various subjects, including sports, education, health, entertainment and foreign affairs.

“Our subscribers will be able to get original articles instantly on their required subject by just entering a few keywords related to the topic,” said Shiekh.

His company has been working on Dante since 2009, at a cost so far of more than 6 million Pakistani rupees ($56,980).

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