What if artificial intelligence was the nurturing humus that the publishing industry and blogs need to bloom again? What if the future of blogging was in the virtual hands of an army of machines that can work together with professional writers to build and spread knowledge? This is the story of Sam Isma, founder and publisher of the online design magazine FREEYORK, which publishes 25-30 articles a week employing just two editors. How do they do this? Let’s look closer to understand Sam’s visionary model.
A.I. is a mindset.
Eclectic and creative, Sam is halfway between tech and design with a strong entrepreneurial mindset. After starting his career as a freelance graphic designer, he has studied computer science at the Eastern Mediterranean University in Mersin – where he graduated in computer science and marketing. In 2009 he founded FREEYORK, and nowadays he divides his mind and his time between his daytime job at IBM as a project manager, the management of his editorial project FREEYORK, and the organization of startup events. And he still manages to have some fun!
FREEYORK: the editorial project
Born as a community-driven platform, FREEYORK aims to spread the works and stories of upcoming artists.
Previously, designers and other members of the community used to submit their artworks and their stories, reaching a wide audience of design-lovers. Until a few weeks ago, all the work was done by two editors, plus Sam: just three persons were covering photography, design, illustration, street art, architecture, fashion, and food. Now, content submission is available again for website members, through a newly rolled-out system.
FREEYORK is an eye wide-open on all kind of visual contemporary art and publishes a huge amount of inspiring content that helps artists and studios to get known and design-lovers to find new artists and creative ideas from all around the world.
Unleashing the power of A.I.
FREEYORK’s editorial team has a secret weapon to stay ahead of their competition, and that secret weapon is A.I.
Together with Sam and his small editorial team, there is a kind of cyber-team composed by A.I. tools, whose activities are now part of the magazine’s editorial workflow. Day by day, A.I. is helping the human team to do a better job in content writing, editing, and organization.
“Our current workflow involves usage of three A.I. tools: an A.I. that writes the content of an article, another A.I. that analyses it for grammar mistakes and replaces words that don’t fit into a context, and WordLift” explains Sam. “The first step is to collect some materials on a topic. After finding a few sources, we are giving them A.I. to rewrite. The second step is to analyze what first A.I. wrote, fix grammar mistakes, and replace those words that don’t make any sense. Finally, we let WordLift annotate an article and think of a catchy headline. A.I., unfortunately, is not good at this yet!“
“It scares a lot of people for their future. Especially those who’re working with numbers. I think that writers that use a lot of statistics and numerical data have a bigger chance to be replaced by A.I. As a perfect example, we can take The Associated Press that is using A.I. to write Minor League Baseball articles. That must be an alarming sign for sports writers. As for FREEYORK, I’m hoping to find a perfect solution that will combine writing and editing in one tool and on the top of that if it should read the text and think of a catchy headline. But nothing ever will substitute a well-written writer’s opinion on a subject. In the future, I’m hoping to form a brilliant team of editors that will write long-posts expressing their opinion on an artist’s work, exhibitions, installations, and so on. Who doesn’t appreciate a well-written article?”
“I wanted to make WordPress more intelligent and that’s exactly what WordLift does” states Sam. “At first, when I introduced WordLift to the team, they were skeptical about it and stated “Why we need this, tags are doing the same job with a less effort anyway”, but I kept on pushing because there is a huge potential in this.“
“We approached WordLift while experiencing a decrease in our organic traffic. After a few months using it, our organic traffic reached and exceeded previous figures and it is still growing at a stable rate.“