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Apple's new Google AI tools should have the thinking of news product leaders

Apple's new Google AI tools should have the thinking of news product leaders
Apple's new Google AI tools should have the thinking of news product leaders


The was a little late to the show and caught it after Apple announced companion mode that enables viewing the phone's screen on a Mac.

I admit, my first thought was hallelujah, I finally get to work mobile first (as per my brief a few weeks ago).

But in fact they announced much more serious things that will fundamentally change our industry.

Apple and Google's updates will change the way news media companies interact with readers.

Key takeaways from Apple's new features

Before we get to that, there are a few points worth mentioning:

  1. Journalists will find it much easier to record and transcribe calls as it will soon be built in as a standard feature. More on this from Nieman Lab here (and likely RIP to Otter, my favorite tool that does this).

  2. Interestingly, AI-generated images on the device include sketch, illustration and animation, but not photos. A good way to overcome fakes (but this is still a problem that needs to be solved).

The highlight is their AI features, which is pretty much as expected. However they are calling it Apple Intelligence (obviously some good headline writers out there).

Apple's intelligence lives in the device. This is mainly for privacy reasons, but it also allows the AI ​​to have access to many different applications and sources of information so that it can be highly customized out of the gate. This will be a layer of AI on top of our newsletters, websites, apps and possibly podcasts as well.

Keynote presentations at Google I/O features

I posted my suggestions in our Product and Technology InitiativeThe lazy groupthis week after reading Google's announcement. In case you're not part of the group (you should fix that!), here they are:

  • Consumers will move between apps and devices even more seamlessly than today (there was a great example of information automatically pulled from mail into an in-depth spreadsheet complete with charts), meaning fewer reasons to leave from native platforms and ecosystems. We would have to understand distribution in a whole new way. This should include access to mailboxes and operating systems, beyond newspapers and applications.

  • AI is being built for local use on phones. It will overlay third-party applications, which means less control for these third parties, including media organizations.

  • It was mentioned 121 times in less than two hours. I suspect multimodal was not far behind. It would have to be produced in any medium.

  • Google, and other major AI services, are building watermarks for content (images, videos, texts) created on their platforms. But many are not. And there is no industry standard to tell the difference between real, fake and enhanced.

Pros (for users) and cons (for the industry) in both redesigns

Both Google and Apple AI tools excited me as a consumer. Seamlessly switch between apps, get to know me, and save a whole load of work!

But from a news industry perspective, I'm struggling to find an optimistic way forward. Gartner predicts that search will decrease by 25% by 2026. News media companies are already starting to see the decline.

As consumers are likely to stay more and more within the walled gardens of Big Tech, where does innovation come from? How will consumer behavior change? What do the new models look like?

In short, this is an exciting new world, but we desperately need to understand what this means for news. If you have analysis or thoughts, please share them with me.

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