A brief history
The Deepnews project started during the academic year 2016–2017 when Frederic Filloux was a John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University.
At the time, the “News Quality Scoring” project was based on the approach of what kind of “signals” could be drawn from a news story that would differentiate a value-added article from a commodity news piece?
The following year, the JSK program awarded Frederic a research fellowship to pursue this journalistic exploration. By that point, the project had become 100 percent artificial-intelligence driven, thanks to the advice of Dennis Allison, a computer science professor at Stanford. Hence the name Deepnews.ai.
In Summer 2018, when Frederic’s research fellowship ended, the project was moved back to Paris. Two engineers from Ecole Centrale de Paris helped lead the development of about 100 versions of the deep learning model —the Deepnews Scoring Model — as explained here.
In early 2019, it appeared that Deepnews needed an experienced executive to bring the company to the next level, which would mean developing a lineup of automated newsletters powered by the Deepnews Scoring Model—the Distills— and growing the business. David Finch joined the company in March and will become the CEO in 2020.
This year will mark the real beginning for the company with the launch of the first batch of Distills, the vertical newsletters, aimed at a specific market or sector with a need for value-added information.