The Knight Foundation, an organization devoted to promoting excellence in journalism, today announced the seven winners of an open challenge to use artificial intelligence to empower journalism and reimagine news, and among them is a legal technology company.

Legal Robot, a San Francisco company whose product uses machine learning to analyze contracts, won for its proposal to develop a tool that will apply machine learning to quickly extract structured data from government contracts. This engineering effort will be paired with a campaign to request millions of city, county and state-level contracts from around the United States.

The seven winners of the AI and the News Open Challenge were selected from over 500 applications to share in a $750,000 grant from Knight. The announcement did not say the amount of the grants awarded, but Knight had previously said that each winner would receive in the range of $75,000 to $200,000.

The challenge sought “fresh and experimental approaches” to four problems involving AI and the news:

  • Governing the platforms: Raising the level of transparency and accountability of AI technologies.
  • Stopping bad actors: Detecting and countering the use of AI to spread disinformation.
  • Empowering journalism: Bolstering journalists’ understanding of AI and providing them with tools to effectively communicate about AI and its impact.
  • Reimagining AI and news: How might platforms from smartphones and social media sites to search engines and online news outlets be redesigned to better serve the public good?

More details about the challenge can be found here. The list of winners and more information about them can be found here.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.