Newlab, a platform for scaling frontier technology and home to over 150 member companies, announced today a partnership with The Boston Globe to explore and develop new data-driven solutions for the information industry. This partnership is a collaborative initiative designed to cultivate artificial intelligence-based tools to eliminate information deserts and democratize knowledge to foster a more informed society. Newlab has hired computational journalist Francesco Marconi, former R&D Chief at the Wall Street Journal, to spearhead the new AI-focused Venture Studio program.
The unique Newlab Venture Studio model brings together diverse stakeholders, including technologists, academic institutions, corporate partners and public-sector leaders, to collaborate on building new companies and developing next-generation technology solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Newlab Venture Studios are led by serial entrepreneurs and experts applying frontier tech to mature industries to bring new products and transformation to existing markets.
The first Newlab Venture Studio company, Applied XLabs, will leverage the combined resources of Newlab and The Boston Globe to collaboratively develop technologies that enable the information industry to yield insights from large datasets, create quality content at scale, embrace data-driven editorial and product strategies, and drive audience engagement by addressing the specific interests of individual readers.
“AI-based technologies are changing the way information is sourced and, more fundamentally, the way we communicate,” said Francesco Marconi, SVP of AI & Data at Newlab and founder of Applied XLabs. “We have a responsibility to advance machine learning and natural language processing tools for the benefit of society. I am excited to bring together Newlab’s expertise in scaling new technologies with Boston Globe’s editorial pedigree to develop tools that will empower the entire media ecosystem and the broader public.”
Francesco Marconi recently joined Newlab, bringing years of experience pioneering the field of computational journalism. Prior to joining Newlab, he served as R&D chief of The Wall Street Journal and led AI strategy at the Associated Press. He has also served as an adjunct instructor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and as an affiliate researcher at the Laboratory of Social Machines at MIT Media Lab. Francesco’s upcoming book “Newmakers: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Journalism” will be released in March of 2020.
“Artificial Intelligence has evolved to provide many specific benefits in every industry. The Boston Globe is partnering with the Applied XLabs venture that Francesco Marconi has built out of Newlab to use AI to augment their existing products and capabilities. This partnership offers The Boston Globe an opportunity to leverage AI throughout our business to automate operations, drive decision-making and personalize the consumer experience,” said Vinay Mehra, President of The Boston Globe. “The power of AI has the potential to change the landscape for the media industry, and we believe the tools that Newlab and Applied XLabs are building offer huge promise and will influence all parts of the media value chain.”