Instagram co-founders launch AI-powered news curation app

A man holds a smart phone with the icons for the social networking apps Facebook, Instagram and Twitter seen on the screen. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — A new app designed by two Instagram co-founders called Artifact is using artificial intelligence to curate news for its users.

“Artifact” — representing the merging of articles, facts and artificial intelligence — features a main feed of popular articles curated from a list of publishers like major news organizations and smaller publications for niche interests, according to Platformer.

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who left Instagram in 2018 because of tensions with the parent company Facebook, announced Artifact’s rollout on Instagram last month.

The app was unveiled in late January as an invite-only platform with a waitlist available for people interested in the app, CNN reported at the time. Artifact is now open to the public with no sign-up required, and new social features that weren’t part of the first version.

The app includes social features like an additional feed showing articles from users individuals choose to follow as well as a direct-message inbox where users can discuss posts privately with friends.

Systrom told Platformer the app was inspired by TikTok.

“These unconnected graphs; these graphs that are learned rather than explicitly created,” he told Platformer. “And what was funny to me is as I looked around, I was like, man, why isn’t this happening everywhere in social? Why is Twitter still primarily follow-based? Why is Facebook?”

Although tech companies have recently come under fire for handling of misinformation and hate speech, Systrom says Artifact will use its own judgment to determine what content can stay on the platform.

In an effort to reward engaging material, Artifact’s AI will be optimized to measure how long users spend reading about a topic, rather than what generates the most clicks, according to Platformer.

“One of the issues with technology recently has been a lot of these companies’ unwillingness to make subjective judgments in the name of quality and progress for humanity,” Systrom told Platformer. “Right? Just make the hard decision.”


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