Do we need another newsreader?

The co-founders of Instagram are back with Artifact, an AI-powered newsreader.

Photo: Getty Images / Edited by The Hustle

I don’t know about you, but my news feed is constantly serving me “articles” trying to get me to buy 29 things that would make my apartment cozier.

But what if news feeds recommended stuff that actually interested us? Well, that’s what Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have been working on.

It’s called Artifact, and a waitlist is available now.

It may seem like an odd choice…

… to focus on written articles in a pivot-to-video world, especially when other recommendation apps, like Flipboard, already exist.

But Systrom told Platformer’s Casey Newton that they were inspired by:

  • Advances in AI, like Google’s Transformer, which helps computers better understand language and context. (ChatGPT is built on transformer architecture.)
  • TikTok, which shows users content based on an algorithm, not who they follow.

How will Artifact stand out?

In theory, it’ll offer only high-quality content that gets better-tailored to users as Artifact learns about them:

  • Big and smaller publications — and both right- and left-leaning outlets — are included, but they have to be reputable. Misinformation will be removed.
  • Recommendations are based on how much time is spent on an article, not how many clicks or comments it garners.
  • Forthcoming social components will let users see articles people they follow have shared, and both discuss them publicly and via DMs.

If Artifact can weed out clickbait bullshit while eschewing the toxicity of other social platforms, it might have a shot.

Additionally, an AI newsreader that’s good with context might understand that someone who’s interested in a particular TV show doesn’t want gossip blogs about its stars (*side-eyes Google News*).

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