AI, the elephant in the room, is now crunching news and the result is most interesting to say the least.
So far, humans have relied on the written word to record what we know as history. When artificial intelligence researchers ran billions of those words from decades of news coverage through an automated analysis, however, even more patterns and insights were revealed.
A team from the University of Bristol ran 35 million articles from 100 local British newspapers spanning 150 years through both a simple content analysis and more sophisticated machine learning processes. By having machines "read" the nearly 30 billion words, the simple analysis allowed researchers to easily and accurately identify big events like wars and epidemics.
Perhaps most interesting, the techniques also allowed the researchers to see the rise and fall of different trends during the study range from the years 1800 - 1950. For example, they could track the decline of steam and corresponding rise of electricity – the opposing trajectories crossed each other in 1898. Similarly, they saw when trains overtook horses in popularity in 1902.
Regarding Fake News ... Let's not go there for now but think about this. When one does a search on Google, 99% of us rubes, including yours truly, selects one of the two top results so ... think of the power a Google has regarding information and how it relates to us, information increasingly driven by AI developed by, you guessed it, Google.