How AI can relieve editorial teams of mundane tasks

Esra Celebi

Artificial intelligence has made its mark in the media industry and its influence is growing all the time. It is revolutionizing content creation, user experience, video workflows, SEO, digital marketing and many other areas step by step.

Artificial intelligence has made its mark in the media industry and its influence is growing all the time. It is gradually revolutionizing content creation, user experience, video workflows, SEO, digital marketing and many other areas.

Some of the big players in the media industry, such as the BBC or the New York Times, recognized this some time ago. These big players are already taking advantage of many of the opportunities AI offers them.

In most cases, AI is used in the development and publication of content, which means a big cost saving for the companies.

However, in my opinion, it is precisely the AI hype that makes it difficult for many publishers to identify those areas where AI can best support them.

Therefore, in this article, I would like to explain what AI means for publishers and how they can benefit from it.

In doing so, I will address the following points:

  1. What does AI mean?
  2. Publishers and AI
  3. Use of AI in content search
  4. Use of AI in content creation
  5. Use of AI in content publishing

What does AI mean?

Since there is a lot of buzz around this topic, I want to make sure we are on the same page when it comes to defining AI.

AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is a component of computer science. It involves creating intelligent machines and systems that are capable of performing a task that normally requires human intelligence.

Machine Learning

When it comes to artificial intelligence, there are two buzzwords: machine learning and deep learning.

Machine learning algorithms use statistics to find patterns in large amounts of data. This data includes many things - numbers, words, images, clicks. If something can be stored digitally, then a Machine Learning algorithm can process it.

Video streaming platforms, for example, use this technology to recommend new videos to users. Machine learning requires a lot of math and code to perform as required. Nevertheless, this method usually does not work because not enough data is available.

Deep Learning

It gets really exciting when machines learn themselves. In this case, we are talking about deep learning. Deep learning is a subarea of machine learning.

Whereas with machine learning a programmer has to intervene to make adjustments, with deep learning the algorithms themselves judge whether a prediction is correct or incorrect. The computer learns from experience.

Deep Learning can already be seen today in driverless cars, for example, where it learns from its environment and makes decisions based on experience. Some Deep Learning models specialize in road signs, while others are designed to recognize pedestrians.

This all sounds exciting, but why would publishers be interested in this kind of technology?

The impact of AI on Industry Growth (Publishing & Media)

Publishers and AI

The impact of AI ranges from content creation to user experience, SEO to digital marketing. In summary, it has the potential to help your editors be significantly more productive, creative, and efficient.

Today, editors have a multitude of tasks in addition to their primary duties of research and writing.

AI can take over the simple day-to-day actions that your editors probably find more distracting. For example, keyword research, performance optimization, and distribution. This allows your writers to focus on their core competencies again.

"I want an editor to create an idea - develop it through images, words, events or video, and I want them to do that in its purest form."

Jon Watkins, Media Consultant

In the next sections, you'll see how content intelligence can help publishers through real-world use cases.

Use of AI in content search

Finding the right topics is certainly one of the big challenges for your editorial team. However, it's not much of a challenge for an artificial intelligence. For example, it can process and interpret patterns in data at a scale unattainable by humans.

This makes it an indispensable addition to any content strategist, as AI can deliver information from unstructured data that is needed to make informed decisions.

The common thread that runs through everything: AI can deliver key insights automatically, at massive scale, and in a way that you can easily share with other departments in your organization.

Without this type of technology, you could only achieve a similar result with the support of hundreds of analysts and an unlimited budget.

AI especially helps newsrooms with activities like:

  • Headline Analysis
  • Seasonal theme recommendations
  • Finding hot topics related to your content domain
  • Image recognition and visual search
  • Targeting and segmentation

Use of AI in content creation

Artificial intelligence has the potential to help publishers create content as well. I would like to show you how with two examples.

Automated text tagging

When creating an article, publishers typically must either rely on automated tagging in the CMS or add tags manually.

However, there are smarter alternatives like Editor, a self-learning text-editing platform from the New York Times. Editor automatically highlights text and creates annotations based on information gathered across a number of networks.

Screenshot of Editor, a self-learning interface for text editing by The New York Times

Content translation

Most international news agencies are trying to attract a wider audience in all countries and languages. This is where content translation and adaptation becomes a challenge.

Despite the fact that automated translation software such as Google Translate and Deepl have been on the market for years, the style of the language rarely meets high standards and contains errors. Nevertheless, there is, a multilingual news platform that has been experimenting with automated content translation since its inception.

Screenshot of, a multilingual policy news website

Just two years ago, the company began using AI-based technology from Tilde to optimize its processes. The system analyzes tens of thousands of uploaded articles and the associated human-made translations. It then matches these with the official style guide to learn exactly the language that matches the site's style.

Other areas of application

Other areas where AI is helping with content creation include:

  • Add trending keywords
  • Search synonyms
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Grammar check
  • Image recognition
  • Automated reporting
  • Reformatting articles
  • Content moderation

Use of AI in content publishing

Traditionally, content management has been a serious problem for publishers. Artificial intelligence can also help you automate your publishing process.

Automating and optimizing links between articles can reduce the time spent on this routine activity. It can also be used to optimize affiliate links by analyzing content such as images, audio, videos and text.

Of course, what's interesting is that Artificial Intelligence can do these types of tasks a million times faster and better than any human.

In addition, SEO has played an increasingly important role for years. Without the right metadata, for example, your content has a lower chance of being found online. These SEO challenges can hardly be tackled alone. Again, anything that isn't creative can be done by AI.

The following graph shows the average time spent on the essential but sometimes annoying task of keyword research, based on the size of the website in question.

Chart: Time spent on keyword research


AI offers publishers many opportunities to work more efficiently. Due to the complexity of the topic and a reluctance to embrace new technologies, publishers are usually overwhelmed and tend to sit it out.

In my opinion, it's important to just get started and then evaluate how it went.

Every company is different. Based on your experience, you can then decide if and how you want to continue using AI-driven technologies. It is important, however, that the introduction happens gradually.

Still briefly on the topic of whether AI could replace humans: I believe that humans can never be replaced by software in creative fields, as human creativity in particular is an irreplaceable piece of the puzzle in creating valuable content.

I don't think editorial teams should spend time linking products or uploading articles. AI can do that. So human writers can be assisted by AI, making editorial tasks easier and the average quality of articles probably even better.

"AI should be an extension of your team. It should not be your team."

Hanifa Dungarwalla, Group Digital Marketing Manager at Bauer Media

With content intelligence, you can know more, find more and do more. Find out more about our AI-based solution that supports publishers in finding topics, creating and publishing content.

With content intelligence, you can know more, find more and create more. Want to learn more about the possibilities of AI for publishers?

Then take a look at our free on-demand webinar.

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