Apple News Plays it Safe with Humans Selecting ‘News’ And Not AI


Apple News follows a tricky strategy in curating news stories for its News app.  A bevy of former journalists and media editors comb pitches and short-list the stories going on their app, painstakingly each day. This is a plan which differs from other technology companies – Facebook with its News Feed feature, Google and Twitter.

However, the bigger question is how the curated news stories are unbiased if they are human-first selections.

Apple News Curation

The major technology companies such as FB or Google prefer to be companies of the Information Technology genre and use various technology platforms, from news bots to Artificial Intelligence to weed out fact-linked news stories for their app news pages. These are the tech-savvy firms which do not want to merge their news ‘display’ feature with the ‘ethical’ news reporting feature practiced by media companies such as Bloomberg or CNBC.

Given this practice, which is industry-wide, Apple News walks a lone journey with Human editors and reports. The rationale for this traditional, old-style news Curation is best expressed by its CEO.

Steve Cook in an interview in June 2018 reiterated that Apple News would be not driven by algorithms but human editors and reporters.

Cook had defended the move saying, “people that use an iPhone have to only use Apple News to get their news, you can go anywhere you want to, obviously. You can put all kinds of different apps on there, but for Apple News, we felt that top stories should be selected by a human.”

The Curation framework is for news content which is covered by multiple media groups and has “the reason to be out there.”

Unbiased news coverage

According to Apple News’ editor-in-Chief, Lauren Kern, the five top stories which make it to the app are unbiased as they are intuitively equipped to beat bias, whereas an algorithm itself could be coded on a bias such as “algorithm’s code, such as whether it labels news organizations liberal or conservative.”

It follows an ‘ambitious’ plan allowing publishers to advertise for new subscribers with 30:70 revenue sharing deal respectively for the media group and the app.

Kern justifies the Curation by human reporters and journalists bring sanity and reliability.