Curio's AI news anchor

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Curio, an AI-powered audio journalism startup, has developed an AI news anchor named Rio, designed to enhance the news consumption experience by providing personalized news briefings from trusted sources. Rio, which was first unveiled at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, is a product of Curio, founded by ex-BBC strategist Govind Balakrishnan and London lawyer Srikant Chakravarti in 2016.

Key Features of Rio

  • Personalized News Briefings: Rio curates daily news briefings that users can read or listen to. It sources content from reputable publications like Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and The Washington Post.
  • AI Chatbot Interface: Users can interact with Rio through an AI chatbot interface to inquire about topics of interest. Rio then creates audio episodes for users to explore these topics further.
  • Trusted Sources: Rio emphasizes the use of content only from trusted publisher partners and ensures that it does not fabricate information. It also states that publisher content will not be used to train its large language model (LLM) without explicit consent.
  • Integration Potential: There is potential for Rio's interface to be integrated into larger news aggregators like Google News or Apple News, or even individual publisher sites.

Development and Funding

Rio was initially developed as a feature within the Curio app but was later spun out into its own application due to its unique capabilities and the volume of user interactions. Since its launch as a feature in Curio, Rio has answered over 20,000 questions from users. The project has attracted funding from notable investors such as Khosla Ventures and Chris Anderson, the head of TED.

Availability

Rio is currently in its early access phase and requires an invitation to join. Interested users can sign up for the waitlist at the official Rio website. The company plans to launch the app publicly later in the summer.

Privacy and User Experience

Rio offers a seamless reading experience by providing articles straight from the source without any ads or cookie banners. The app is free for early users, and its privacy practices include handling data such as contact info, identifiers, and usage data. In summary, Rio represents a significant advancement in AI-powered news consumption, focusing on personalization, credibility, and user interaction. Its development reflects a broader trend of integrating AI technology into journalism to enhance the consumer's news experience.
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