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There’s an avalanche of news these days, and Microsoft wants to help make sense of it all. It today announced Bing Spotlight, an artificially intelligent news aggregator that provides an overview of developing stories in Bing search results.
Bing Spotlight doesn’t just surface headlines. It shows a blow-by-blow timeline of events from “various perspectives,” plus relevant social media posts and links to in-depth coverage.
“Users’ trust in the news we present is of the utmost importance to Bing,” the Bing team wrote, “and we’re committed to providing a well-rounded view of news from diverse, quality sources.”
It’s available on Bing desktop and mobile web in the U.S. A spokesperson told VentureBeat via email that Bing Spotlight is an “evolving feature,” and that the team will evaluate options based on feedback.
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Bing Spotlight spots trending topics with the help of deep learning algorithms that ingest millions of search queries and news articles every day. Leaning on a web graph of “hundreds of millions” of websites, it factors in signals such as browser logs, the number of publishers covering a story, and how prominently each publisher featured their respective stories on their sites.
Articles have to be “original, readable, newsworthy, and transparent” before they’re considered for a top spot, and must demonstrate “sound journalistic practices” such as identify sources and authors, giving attribution, and labeling opinion and commentary.
“Being an informed consumer of the news is more challenging today than it used to be,” the team wrote. “Our goal is to provide broader context for impactful stories, from politics to business to major disasters, and much more.”
Bing Spotlight comes roughly three months after Google unveiled a revamped Google News app for smartphones. Like Bing Spotlight, the new and improved Google News intelligently reads articles, podcasts, videos, and social media posts, and leverages AI to fact-check and highlight items of particular note.
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