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Dr. Sarphan Uzunoğlu is an Associate Professor in UiT Arctic University of Norway Language and Culture Department. He was previously a senior lecturer at Kadir Has University (Istanbul) across New Media, Public Relations and Information Departments. Dr. Uzunoğlu is also a founder of Newslabturkey.org, Journo.com.tr, TGS Academy (Journalists’ Union of Turkey Academy) and Media Innovation and Technology Network of Turkey (mint360.org), as well as a regular contributor to Punto 24, Medyapod podcast network and other independent media organisations. Dr. Uzunoğlu received his Ph.D. from Galatasaray University Media and Communication Studies Programme. He completed his graduate studies at Kadir Has University via the Turkcell Technology Leaders Scholarship, and his undergraduate studies at Izmir University of Economics.
The use of bots in journalism and the role of artificial intelligence in journalism practices have been hot topics for a while. In this episode of the Journalism.co.uk podcast, the guest is Emily Withrow, the director of the Bot Studio at Quartz.
This episode of the podcast is focused on community management with bots and how and why bots or conversational interfaces change the nature of news consumption. According to Withrow, with bots publishers offer their audiences a possibility to interact with the information they receive instead of simply reading it.
Withrow says it is not only about providing an alternative to simple reading practice but also about providing depth and interactivity to the news consumption process.
Bots, according to Withrow, have some extra skills such as adding or hiding details according to their readers' needs. What might be surprising for listeners would be that, according to Withrow, bots are psychologically more understanding than humans: "They are more engaged in stories and provide deeper conversation."
Regarding data about the success of the bots, Withrow says that completion rates are the primary measure of the success of chatbot experiences, and they found out that more and more people come back and try chatbots again every day.
Comparing bots and human journalists in terms of their capacity to engage with the audience, Withrow says that bots' tendency to ask questions to the reader is providing an emotional connection, and it brings success.