HomeNewsCurio is raising funds for Rio, an “AI news anchor” in an...

Curio is raising funds for Rio, an “AI news anchor” in an app

AI could slowly make its way into the newsroom, because the media wants it to Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Gizmodo, VentureBeat, CNET, and others have experimented with the format. But while most respected journalists condemn this use case, there are a lot of startups that imagine AI can improve the news experience – at the least on the patron side. The latest to affix the fight is Rioan “AI news anchor” designed to assist readers connect with the stories and topics that interest them most from trusted sources.

The latest app comes from the identical team as AI-powered audio journalism startup Curio and was first introduced on the South by Southwest festival in Austin last month. It has funding from Khosla Ventures and the pinnacle of TED, Chris Anderson, who also supported Curio. (The startup says the round is ongoing and due to this fact cannot disclose the quantity.)

While Curio itself was founded in 2016 by a former BBC strategist Govind Balakrishnan and London lawyer Srikant ChakravartiRio is a brand new initiative that can expand using Curio's AI technology.

Initially developed as a feature within the Curio app, Rio scans headlines from trusted newspapers and magazines like Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Washington Post and others after which curates that content right into a every day news briefing so that you can either read or can read or listen.

Additionally, the team says Rio will prevent users from falling into an echo chamber by in search of news that expands their understanding of topics and encourages them to delve deeper.

Photo credit: Curio/Rio

In testing, Rio prepared a every day briefing that was presented in a form of story-like interface with graphics and links to news articles that you would tap at the underside of the screen to narrate the article in an AI voice. (To be clear, these were full articles, not AI summaries). You scroll through headlines the identical way you’d tap through a story on a social media app like Instagram.

According to Curio, Rio's AI technology won’t fabricate information and can only reference content from its trusted publishing partners. Rio won’t use publisher content to coach an LLM (large language model) without “explicit consent,” it says.

Photo credit: Curio/Rio

Beyond the briefing, you can too interact with Rio through an AI chatbot interface and ask questions on other topics of interest. Suggested topics – reminiscent of “TikTok ban” or “Ukraine war” – appear as small pills above the text input field. We found that the AI ​​was somewhat slow to reply at times, but otherwise performed as expected.

If you'd prefer to learn more, Rio also offers to create an audio episode to reply your questions.

Co-founder Balakrishnan said that Curio users have asked Rio over 20,000 questions because it was introduced as a feature in Curio last May, which is why the corporate decided to spin the technology off into its own app.

“AI makes us all wonder what’s true and what shouldn’t be. You can search AI web sites for quick answers, but trusting them blindly is a chance,” Chakravarti noted in an announcement released to mark Rio’s debut at SXSW. “Reliable knowledge is tough to come back by. Only a lucky few get access to fact-checked, verified information. Rio guides you thru the news, turning on a regular basis headlines into knowledge from trusted sources. Reading the news with Rio makes you’re feeling fulfilled as a substitute of depressed,” he added.

It's hard to say whether Rio is persistent enough to push for its standalone product, however it's easy to assume such an interface eventually coming to larger news aggregators like Google News or Apple News, and even to individual publishers' web sites. In the meantime, Curio will proceed to deal with audio messaging.

Curio isn't the one startup counting on AI to enhance the news reading experience. Former Twitter engineers are constructing Particle, an AI-powered news reader, funded with $4.4 million. Another AI-powered news app, Bulletin, was also launched to combat clickbait and offer news summaries. Artifact had also used AI before moving to TechCrunch parent company Yahoo.

Rio is currently in Early Access, meaning you wish an invitation to realize access. Otherwise, you may join for the app's waiting list at rionews.ai. The company told us it plans to take it public later this summer. (As a reward for reading to the top, five of you should utilize my very own invitation link are available in.)


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