The Knight Foundation is handing out $3 million in grants to support the adoption of AI in local newsrooms across the U.S.
The grants will initially fund four projects, which are intended to "address critical knowledge and skills gaps in the industry," the organization said in a statement. This includes $750,000 for the Associated Press to develop industry-wide benchmarks for AI readiness and develop a training program for at least 50 local news organizations.
A half-million dollars will go to the Brown Institute at Columbia University to develop AI-driven audience revenue strategies and develop software that automates functions.
The NYC Media Lab and Partnership on AI will receive $600,000 each. The former project will produce a digital platform that provides resources on AI in journalism, as well as creating an AI prototyping challenge. The latter will research the ethical challenges of using AI for journalists and journalism.
With the grants, the foundation hopes to help local news organizations build the capacity to integrate AI into their work and operations. This will in turn allow local newsrooms to capitalize on the benefits of AI in a way already seen in many larger, national news organizations.
The Foundation will be broadly focused on identifying solutions that will "increase and diversify the technical talent pool for journalism." They will also work on capability-building for local organizations, looking to help them increase sustainability through AI and machine learning, as well as assess the organizations' AI readiness, and develop products in collaboration with AI experts and partners.