Benoît Raphaël, journalist who is the co-founder and Chief Robot Officer of Trendsboard, a French start up which recently invented Flint, a media collaboration between humans and robots which puts together personalized newsletters created by artificial intelligence.
1 – What does your Flint initiative consist of on a strategic, editorial and technical level ?
Flint is a media collaboration between humans and robots. He puts together personalized newsletters created by artificial intelligence.
The goal is to offer readers a quality monitoring tool that finds articles that might interest them. You can enroll here : Flint (french website)
2 – What is the major point of innovation in this bot ?
He calls upon artificial intelligence (essentially machine learning paired with neural networks that imitate the workings of a brain), which is very different from classic personalization algorithms or aggregation. It’s also what makes this project so fascinating.
At its origin, I began this project for myself : I had a real problem monitoring my sector of expertise (media innovation) that existing tools couldn’t solve. The idea was then to create myself a personal media assistant that would select quality articles that might interest me. The greatest difficulty of the project was determining the quality of the content, without imposing criteria, but meanwhile defining an editorial line. To overcome this challenge, artificial intelligence must act as a human normally would.
3 – How is the bot trained ?
The price we pay for intelligence is freedom. The robots learn, in part, on their own, but are also trained by a human, an expert in their domain, who determines the editorial line. So, there’s a permanent exchange between the human and the robot.
4 – What added value can it offer to brands and their agencies ?
Flint’s principal mission is to make us more intelligent by offering us a constant, quality watch on an evolving world. It’s a powerful internal monitoring tool for collaborators and clients of a brand. Additionally, the robot will adapt its editorial line to a community of readers based on their clicks, so it becomes “their” robot.
For example, we made a test newsletter to do intelligent internal monitoring for a group with more than 2,000 collaborators, and we had an open rate of more than 50%.
How can agencies within Publicis Groupe capitalize on your initiative, now that you’ve established a partnership with Relaxnews ?
This partnership will allow Relaxnews to create and train its own robots and test them with other agencies and clients of the group. Many robots are currently in preparation (focusing on smart cities, the environment, FinTech, human resources, health…), and based on the results, it will then be possible to reflect on a model for clients. This is a very simple project, and, thus, very open, that creates a foundation for us to invent many things together.
Benoît Raphaël — Co-Founder & CEO of Trendsboard