The first session was held in June and since then hundreds of media professionals have attended Strossles Algorithm School for media companies. The session is aimed at everyone in the company that wishes to keep up with the technical development and are curious to explore the world of algorithms. No prior knowledge is needed!
Strossle's machine learning expert Fredrik Skeppstedt is responsible for the class. We took the chance to ask him a few questions when he held his class for 40 journalists at Alma Talent in September.
Hi Fredrik, many people in tech talk about algorithms. What is it?
Simply put, it is a recipe. It describes how to create something (like a dish) from a list of ingredients. But within tech, the algorithm usually consist of data instead of salt or sugar.
Where do we see algorithms in our everyday life?
Everywhere! Pretty much anything you can think of that involves electricity and computers algorithms are controlling it. It can be as simple as the on/off switch of a radiator or as complex as the autopilot for cars and airplanes, or nuclear reactors.
Why are algorithms relevant for journalists and professionals within media?
Algorithms can help publishers, journalists, and people in marketing to be more efficient, increase user engagement, have better audience targeting, and increase the revenue.
How can algorithms effect a journalist’s everyday life?
Algorithms can help to suggest topics to investigate, what’s currently popular and also help journalists to investigate stories hidden in data. And of course give recommendations on what to read next, which is one of the things Strossle's algorithms do for the visitors at publisher sites.
What is the most common question from people within media when you give lectures on algorithms?
Many asks when computers will be replacing journalists. We are far away from that, but when it comes to simple tasks we're there. A machine can, for example, do the reporting from minor sports events. So who knows what the future holds?
How does Strossle use algorithms?
In so many ways for so many things! Algorithms are controlling more things than you could imagine, but one of my favorite ones is the collection of algorithms that turns articles into locations on a sort of "content map” where you can find similar articles.