Blaise Aboh

Augmented Reporting and the Future of News


Blaise Aboh, Co-Founder of AI Envoy Robotics Inc.

AIER researches and educates on the social implications of AI to ensure that it works for mankind. He is also a lead partner at Orodata Science where he democratizes public data through augmented storytelling and reporting leveraging frontier technologies.

Blaise is a frequent speaker; in 2019 he spoke at the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ African Business Media Innovators (ABMI), and Hivos African Crossroads ‘Sensing the City’. Also in 2019, he helped the Mozilla Foundation co-design the Mozilla Festival. He is an Obama Foundation Leader, a Code of Africa Innovation Fellow and Othoway Fellow.

When he thinks of augmented reporting he thinks of the importance of using different technologies to enhance newsroom reporting. The future impact of AI is quite uncertain but in the course of his work, he has seen its potential and wide-ranging benefits, especially on how journalism is made and consumed.

To adopt AI; newsrooms must:

  • Acknowledge that this challenge will cost money.
  • That people will be trained on this knowledge or skill.
  • That the human cultural will be a big resistance-work habits will need to change.
  • That their staff might push back because of the fear of losing their jobs.
  • Humans are generally hostile to new technology and new learning.
  • That the managers do not know enough, hence, external experts will be needed.
  • That AI is often expensive to build and maintain.

Your typical reporter around the world is not used to using AI and it will definitely be a learning curve to teach them how to use it and why it is worth it.

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