BBC bots answer readers’ questions

BBC News Labs and BBC Visual Journalism are working together to develop a chatbot building application. With this application, journalists could easily build custom chatbots to compliment their stories, as can be read in this NiemanLab article.

Journalists can build bots that offer a set of topic-relevant questions at particular points in the article. Readers can choose a question, the bot gives an answer and the reader can choose to ask a follow-up question. The bots can be reused in related articles on the same topic.

Of course chatbots already exist, but the bot that the BBC is developing is geared specifically towards journalists. “Our software is much more designed around the reporter’s workflow than the majority of the software that I’ve seen,” says Grant Heinrich, the developer at the helm of this project.

Heinrich said that these bots could be a way in for those who might read more complicated news stories with a low level of engagement.

Read the full article on NIemanLab here.

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