Home Artificial Intelligence Former Twitter engineers are constructing Particle, an AI-powered news reader

Former Twitter engineers are constructing Particle, an AI-powered news reader

Former Twitter engineers are constructing Particle, an AI-powered news reader

A team led by former Twitter engineers is rethinking how AI may be used to assist people process news and data. Particle.news, which entered into private beta over the weekend, is a recent startup offering a personalised, “multi-perspective” news reading experience that not only leverages AI to summarize the news, but goals to achieve this in a way that fairly compensates authors and publishers — or so is the claim.

While Particle hasn’t yet shared its business model, it arrives at a time when there’s a growing concern concerning the impact of AI on a rapidly shrinking news ecosystem. News that’s summarized by AI could limit clicks to publishers’ web sites, which suggests their ability to monetize via promoting would even be reduced.

The startup was founded last 12 months by former Senior Director of Product Management at Twitter, Sara Beykpour, who worked on products like Twitter Blue, Twitter Video, and conversations, and had spearheaded the experimental app, twttr. She had been at Twitter from 2015 through 2021, growing her position from software engineering to that of a senior director of product management. Her co-founder is a former senior engineer at each Twitter and Tesla, Marcel Molina.

The premise behind Particle, as Beykpour explained last month, is to make it easier to maintain up with news using AI.

“Sometimes it looks like headlines are all we now have time for. We also want to know more, but faster,” she wrote in an introduction to the startup on Threads. “We’re within the early stages of using AI to remodel the way in which we interact with news.”

Using Particle, news readers are offered a fast, bulleted summary of the story, with information pulled from a wide range of sources. Nonetheless, when announcing the private beta, Beykpour noted that readers can either use the summary to get in control or can decide to go deeper to “find out about how a story has unfolded over time.”

The venture-backed startup has raised funding from Kindred Ventures and Adverb Ventures, in addition to various angel investors, including Twitter and Medium co-founder Ev Williams and Behance founder, Scott Belsky.

Remarked Belsky on X, “Particle has change into a each day app for me. It synthesizes the various articles (and angles) on any news topic, surfaces the important thing points as objectively as possible, and permits you to dig further across many dimensions. Within the era of abstraction ahead, great example of each day AI,” he wrote.

Particle offers a demo of its technology for logged-out users via its website, where articles are featured together with their summary, timestamp as to once they were last updated, and, in a small section at the underside, the sources they draw from.

These sources pull from across the political spectrum and include big-name publishers like The Latest York Times, CNBC, the AP, ABC, CNN, Breitbart, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Politico, Fox News, USA Today, The Day by day Caller, Latest York Post, The Hill, and others. International outlets are also pulled from, when relevant, the demos indicate. Nonetheless, each bullet point is just not linked to its original source or sources, which makes it difficult to fact-check the accuracy of the AI summary without delving into all of the articles. (Key terms are, nonetheless, linked). We noted, too, that the photograph accompanying a news summary is watermarked with the publisher’s logo.

Image Credits: Particle

The top product will likely differ, on condition that Particle is just now launching its private beta for testing, and intends to supply a mobile app in the long run, because it’s hiring for a Senior iOS Engineer.

The same model of leveraging a wide range of news sources after which employing AI to summarize, was recently employed by Artifact, the now-shuttered startup from Instagram’s co-founders. In its case, Artifact’s team curated the news sources up front based on aspects related to their integrity and quality. For instance, the outlet needed to be quick to make corrections, when incorrect, and be transparent about their funding. We’re hoping to speak in additional detail about how Particle vets its sources closer to a public launch.

One other AI-powered news app, Bulletin, also recently launched to tackle clickbait together with offering news summaries.

Given the interest on this space, what could make Particle stand out is its founding team. Arriving from Twitter, the co-founders have experienced what a real-time news ecosystem looks like, and have the technical and product experience to construct a high quality product. Whether or not publishers who feel that AI is eating into their space will feel “fairly compensated,” nonetheless, stays to be seen.

Adverb Ventures co-founder and Managing Direct April Underwood praised Particle in a post on LinkedIn concerning the firm’s investment.

“We got the prospect to back them just as we were completing our very first close for Fund 1 — we had to attend for our first capital call to hit to wire them the cash!,” she said on Sunday, adding that Adverb closed its $75 million Fund I just a few months ago. “Sara and Marcel are the type of founders we dreamed of backing after we got down to construct a recent early-stage firm. They’re going after an enormous problem space. They’ve got the talents to tackle big problems at a high level of product quality. And so they can attract other talented folks to affix them, and together invent a future consumers don’t know to ask for (yet),” Underwood wrote.

Requests for comment weren’t returned.  Particle’s beta sign-up form is here.


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