HomeNewsFormer Twitter engineers are constructing Particle, an AI-powered news reader, funded with...

Former Twitter engineers are constructing Particle, an AI-powered news reader, funded with $4.4 million

A team led by former Twitter engineers is rethinking how AI may be used to assist people process news and data. particle.news, which entered the private beta phase over the weekend is a brand new startup that gives a customized, “multi-perspective” news reading experience that not only uses AI to summarize the news, but additionally goals to accomplish that in a way that fairly compensates writers and publishers – or that’s the claim.

Although Particle has not yet announced its business model, it comes at a time when concerns are growing concerning the impact of AI on a fast shrinkage News Ecosystem. News aggregated by AI could limit clicks to publishers' web sites, meaning their ability to monetize through promoting would even be limited.

The startup was founded last 12 months by Twitter's former senior director of product management. Sara Beykpour, who has worked on products reminiscent of Twitter Blue, Twitter Video and Conversations and who created the experimental app twttr. She worked at Twitter from 2015 to 2021, evolving her position from software development to senior director of product management. Their co-founder is a former senior engineer at Twitter and Tesla. Marcel Molina.

The premise behind Particle, like Beykpour explained last monthgoals to make it easier to stay awake up to now with news using AI.

“Sometimes it seems like we only have time for headlines. We also want to know more, but faster,” she wrote in an introduction to the startup subjects. “We are still within the early stages of using AI to rework the best way we interact with news.”

Using Particle, news readers get a fast, bulleted summary of the story, with information coming from a wide range of sources. However, in announcing the private beta, Beykpour noted that readers can either use the summary to get up to the mark or decide to go deeper to “find out how a story unfolds over the course of the story.” time has developed”.

The enterprise capital-backed startup has raised a complete $4.4 million in seed capital from Kindred Ventures and Adverb Ventures, in addition to various angel investors including Twitter and Medium co-founder Ev Williams and Behance founder Scott Belsky. The round led to April 2023.

Belsky remarked on X“Particle has turn out to be a each day app for me. It summarizes the numerous articles (and angles) on each news topic, presenting the important thing points as objectively as possible and allowing you to delve deeper into many dimensions. An amazing example of on a regular basis AI in the approaching age of abstraction,” he wrote.

Particle is offering a demo of its technology to logged out users via its websitewhere articles are presented together with their summary, the timestamp of their last update and, in a small section below, the sources from which they arrive.

These sources come from across the political spectrum and include notable publishers reminiscent of The New York Times, CNBC, AP, ABC, CNN, Breitbart, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Politico, Fox News, USA Today, The Daily Caller, New York Post , The Hill and others. If crucial, international sales outlets may also be withdrawn, as may be seen from the demos. However, not every bullet point is linked to its original source(s), making it difficult to factually confirm the accuracy of the AI ​​summary without engaging with all articles. (Key terms are linked, nevertheless.) We also noticed that the photo accompanying a news summary is watermarked with the publisher's logo.

Photo credit: particles

The final product will likely be different as Particle is just starting its private beta for testing and plans to supply a mobile app in the long run as the corporate hires a lead iOS engineer.

The same model, using different news sources after which aggregating them using AI, was recently utilized by Artifact, the now-defunct startup from the Instagram co-founders. In this case, the Artifact team pre-curated the news sources based on aspects related to their integrity and quality. For example, the outlet needed to make quick corrections when errors occurred and be transparent about its funding. We hope to speak in additional detail about how Particle vets its sources for public release.

Another AI-powered news app, Bulletin, was also recently launched to combat clickbait and offer news summaries.

Given the interest on this space, Particle might stand out for its founding team. The co-founders, who got here from Twitter, have experienced what a real-time news ecosystem seems like and have the technical and product experience to construct a top quality product. But it stays to be seen whether publishers who feel AI is eating up their space can be “fairly compensated.”

April Underwood, co-founder and managing director of Adverb Ventures, praised Particle in a single post on LinkedIn concerning the company's investment:

“We just got the prospect to support them as we closed our very first close for Fund 1 – we had to attend for our first capital call to send them the cash!” she said on Sunday, adding that Adverb is celebrating his seventy fifth birthday. Million dollar fund I just closed just a few months ago. “Sara and Marcel are the type of founders we dreamed of supporting once we got down to construct a brand new early-stage company. They pursue a big problem area. You have the talents to tackle big problems with high product quality. And they will attract other talented people to affix them and co-imagine a future that buyers don’t (yet) know to ask for,” Underwood wrote.

In an email to TechCrunch, Underwood explained the upcoming opportunity:

When it involves space, we imagine AI will touch every aspect of individuals's digital lives at work and at home. Combine that with the underlying conditions here – it's difficult to search out breaking news from trusted sources and the social media landscape is evolving rapidly – and you have got to assume that the best way people eat news , can be different in just a few years. Sara and Marcel are uniquely qualified to assist people get the news they need in a contemporary way.

Beykpour tells TechCrunch that the concept for Particle got here about because there are lots of challenges with how people get news and stay awake up to now with what's happening. However, the corporate continues to be talking to publishers about what they would want to feel fairly compensated through a model where AI aggregates their work.

“Honestly, we’re just figuring it out. We are actually talking to publishers and dealing with them to work out what the appropriate model is,” she says. “But my goal here is to make it fair.”

The company expects to share more news on this topic in the approaching months. In the meantime, Particle's beta signup form is accessible Here.


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