#EMPJ Blog 8: Field Test Update

Innovation: in·no·va·tion /ˌinəˈvāSH(ə)n/ — a new method, idea, product, etc.

It’s time to shake things up when it comes to how people consume the news. Here’s why: 

  • In 2016, an estimated 20% of Americans felt ‘overloaded’ with information (down 7% from 2006) and nearly half — 46% — of people under the age of 50 feel as though more information makes their lives more complex.
  • 63% of respondents in a recent survey of smartphone users ages 18-35 said they would consider messaging and online chatbot to get in touch with a business or brand.
  • The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Tech Crunch are beginning to deploy chatbots as a means to engage the consumer and disseminate information

The answer is here: call it MARK.

You get the news you want – how you want it and when you want it. MARK is the first mobile personal assistant for news. Open the app on your smartphone or tablet, select a headline or topic, and ask MARK a question. Get instant, relevant information that answers your question. Go beyond the headlines and social media to get the information you want – whenever you want it. Not sure where to start? MARK suggests new information to explore on the selected topic. Our team of journalists, programmers, and data analysts work around the clock so you can always trust that MARK knows the best answer, because he has the best team behind him. No more guessing. Just ask MARK.

The Magic of MARK. 

MARK uses Chatbot technology to allow users to navigate the day’s headlines by asking questions.MARK analyzes questions and phrases asked and inputted by the users, searching for keywords to retrieve the most relevant and up-to-date information reported by our expansive team of journalists. On the backend, journalists boil down the facts of the story creating individual information CARDS to comprise a story DECK. The journalist then assigns a number of keyword amplifiers known as AI SWITCHES to select the most relevant CARD(s) for the questions selected. Getting stuck? MARK can PROMPT a question for you to ask him. PROMPTs are suggested questions created by the reporter. A PROMPT will appear if the user has not asked a question in 15 seconds. These will cycle through at random corresponding to the remaining cards available. PROMPTs also allow MARKS A.I. to learn by associating complex questions with AI SWITCHES created by the reporter.

Testing Our Innovation. 

I have my idea set, now I am currently in the phase of selecting the right Chatbot platform to create MARK. Once I am done testing out Chatbot applications I will begin creating the user experience based on previously create prototypes. Once MARK is created, I will deconstruct three existing stories to create three story DECKs and load them into MARK. At that time I will select a focus group of five people to test MARKThe group will be instructed to use MARK to learn the story. Afterwards they will be prompted to read the corresponding traditional story MARK‘s DECKs were deconstructed from. The focus group will then be asked to rate both experiences on several factors: 

  • Time spent on the consuming the story 
  • How well the medium explain the issue or event
  • How enjoyable was the experience of consuming the story on the respective medium 
  • Which medium the user would be more likely to want to use again to learn about an issue or event
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