SiGMA Group is committed to supporting emerging entrepreneurs by providing a global platform for recognition and success through the SiGMA / AGS Pitch competition. This competition recently returned to the Eurasia Summit in Dubai this March.
Monok emerged as the victors of a highly competitive event that showcased ground-breaking ideas. Monok is a platform that utilises a team of expert journalists and the gig-economy to ensure high-quality content. They use automation and a combination of AI and humans to generate Automated News, making their service both cost-effective and highly efficient.
Read more about this innovative company in the interview below.
Monok takes the crown:
I’m privileged to be joined by Adam Sam of Monok. Congratulations on your win at the SiGMA / AGS Pitch! Can you tell us a little bit more about who you are?
Thank you so much, happy to be here! I am a computer scientist originally. I founded this company to automate news generation.
Can you elaborate on the purpose of Monok and the inspiration behind it?
I was working at a media company that was very reluctant to use artificial intelligence to help in the news production. I tried to approach the idea but eventually quit my job and decided to try and start my own company. That’s the brief background of it.
What we do now is we basically take 70% of news production that’s rewrites, summaries, press releases and news.
When we automate that completely you can go lower and move all these writers to more creative works, more investigative journalism, and go full AI.
How does Monok differentiate itself from traditional news providers and what sets you apart from the competitors?
I think we’re competing more towards content generators.
News providers usually have humans that write the articles. In a publishing house only 30% is real investigative journalism, or creative work and then you have the other 70%. Human beings sit in front of a computer, reading news and Wikipedia articles, and then combining them into a articles.
That’s what we’re replacing with AI. So that’s how we differentiate between news providers when it comes to content makers. People do blogs and reviews. We do news, which really no one else does. It’s a very hard thing to do because you need a lot of experience and technology to, scrape and cluster and, and generate all this content with AI.
That’s how we differentiate ourselves from, both those segments.
Can you walk us through the process of generating news articles from the idea to publication and how your team of journalists and AI technology work together to create high-quality content?
Sure. It’s really easy for a customer that comes into our system.
They can express with keywords what they’re interested in. Examples of this can be: I’m interested in cryptocurrency, or I’m interested in Formula One racing. They type in those keywords and then the AI in the background converts that into an idea of what Formula one racing is. The AI then finds lots of content online through crawling and scrapes them.
This is later clustered into small clusters of stories. We measure how viral they are, and how interesting they might be to read, and then eventually we use machine learning models, transformers, neural networks, and other fancy words to convert that into a draft. Later, when the draft is almost perfect, we use a bit of human touch to fix that.
We fetch pictures and the AI understands that the person in the photo is relevant to the text and then eventually publish it.
How do you ensure the accuracy and reliability of your news articles, especially with the use of AI technology?
In science we have something called peer review. We compare, different scientists, their opinion, and their theories, and then we confirm them through empirical inquiry. We have many different sources and different sources. If they all agree, then we consider that to be true. Now, if everyone is lying, it’ll be impossible for me to tell. Right? So that’s the way the AI understands if something is true or not. Lastly, the journalists themselves have world knowledge. They’re human beings. They can fact-check and look at the sources and look at the generated content and fix that. That’s why we need humans for now.
Can you share some of the success stories involving the use of technology such as what you’re offering?
We have this customer in Scotland. It’s a very, small business but he wanted to generate content and use articles within his domain. So we helped him do this at a very cost-effective price.
This grew his business and his visitors by 600% and he was, and he was so happy to be with us. We eventually became partners. That’s a story that I really like because he would’ve never been able to generate that amount of content within his domain had he gone to a traditional media house or a content agency.
Then we have the bigger companies, their success is basically that we’re increasing traffic for them at a much lower cost again, but also, helping them enter new domains since they might not have the skills or the domain knowledge to write about eSports for example. Maybe they know NFL or US sports better, but not eSports. So we help them with that and that’s been, a great journey with our customers.
Did development go through any challenges how were you able to overcome them?
There are some business challenges of course, but also technical.
Just when it comes to technological challenges, I think technology eventually just fixes itself somehow so we are not really that worried about it. There are a lot of things going on with large language models right now and, open AI doing this and that. The future is so bright for us out there.
When it comes to business, we have an academic tech background, so we’re not really challenged with that. We are trying to overcome challenges by bringing in the right team members and the right players that can help us with our journey.
What are your plans for the future of Monok, and how do you see the news industry evolving in the coming years?
We want to go for full automation when it comes to News. The kind of content we’re giving out now needs 15 minutes for a human being to edit.
We want to bring that down to zero and then move all our editors to more creative work, like more blog articles, and investigative journalism. That’s our future plan and where we’re headed. Uh, it’s, it’s similar.
You always have that little last step and it’s the hardest step to reach full automation.