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Naver news to be run by AI from tomorrow

Apr 03,2019
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Naver’s new front page on mobile. [NAVER]
Portal site Naver’s news section will be organized by artificial intelligence software starting from tomorrow.

Before, the company decided which news appeared in what order in the news section. The news section currently appears as part of the portal site’s home page, but is set to be moved deeper into the site as it starts to shift to a simpler landing page.

The update will completely eliminate Naver’s involvement in the news section. It also puts an end to the company’s two-year development to automate news curation and a string of controversies regarding Naver’s involvement in selecting the news articles shown on the front page.

“The automation of news curation abides by Naver’s core value of connecting people and information,” said Yoo Bong-seok, who oversees Naver’s service operation team. “We will stay true to our role of allowing users access to diverse articles in their themes of interest and as a platform to deliver new media articles untouched.”

Starting from tomorrow, the news section will display trending news articles recommended by the company’s artificial intelligence software AiRS.

Users will see different articles based on an algorithm that tracks the user’s news consumption pattern. Which specific article among many dealing with the same topic will also be decided by AiRS.

Users who are not logged in will see articles that reflect the general interest of Naver users.

Elsewhere on the site, Naver’s main news service will be composed of two sections: one where the user can view articles selected by the news outlets they follow and the other where AiRS shows personalized articles.

Short for AI Recommender System, AiRS has an algorithm that recommends news content based on two standards: a collective filter that analyzes users in groups of a similar interest and a quality model that automatically assesses the quality of articles with a set of standards and user feedback. AiRS was first introduced in February 2017.

“There are so many news articles, and by servicing them, we were able to make a set of criteria to foresee whether users will like them or not,” said a Naver spokesman.

Starting from today, Naver will also change the landing screen of its mobile web page to eliminate the rolling bar of trending keywords and top news.

The new version will be left with just a search bar in a form similar to Google.

Naver’s mobile app will offer users a choice between the new design and the existing portal home page.


BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]