Last week Quartz debuted a clever little app to deliver news unlike anything I’ve used before. It’s a conversational app which creates a delightful and simplified way to stay up to date on the latest stories. I have to also assume that there’s some hidden AI here that will slowly learn my preferences and improve its recommendations over time.
On the whole I’m skeptical, yet optimistic, about conversational interfaces like this which attempt to guess and learn about my preferences. I know that it’s only a matter of time before AI gets good enough to know me as well as it should, but at the present it’s quite rudimentary.
For Quartz’s new app, the lack of choice and customization is simultaneously constraining and liberating. On the one hand, I don’t have to wade through dozens of clickbaity headlines to find content relevant to me; instead, Quartz gives me one suggestion at a time that it thinks I’ll like. On the other hand, if you see a few stories in a row that don’t quite meet your taste, it becomes incredibly easy to dismiss the app and never check back.
All told, I think many people will enjoy the spontaneity offered by the lack of choice, leaving their news delivery up to whatever AI Quartz has running on the backend.