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New AI tool shows which politicians and topics are getting the most TV time

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A new AI-powered tool can show you how much screen time different public figures and topics are getting on TV.

Stanford University researchers created the system to increase transparency around editorial decisions, by analyzing who’s getting coverage and what they’re talking about.

“By letting researchers, journalists, and the public quantitatively measure who and what is in the news, the tool can help identify biases and trends in cable TV news coverage,” said project leader Maneesh Agrawala.

Normally, monitoring organizations and newsrooms rely on painstaking manual counting to find out who and what’s getting screen time. But the Stanford Cable TV News Analyzer uses computer vision to calculates this automatically.

The AI then shows what people are discussing by synchronizing the video with transcripts of their speech. The different subjects and speakers can then be compared across dates, times, and channels.

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You can use the tool to count the screen time of politicians, review coverage of the US election, or see how different channels are reporting certain topics.

The example below shows how much CNN, Fox, and MSNBC have featured the controversial term “Chinese virus.”