Financial Times AI chatbot

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The Financial Times (FT) has introduced a new generative AI chatbot named Ask FT, designed to answer questions from its subscribers using the outlet's extensive archive of published articles. This chatbot is similar to other generalized AI bots like ChatGPT, Copilot, or Gemini, providing curated natural language responses. However, Ask FT differentiates itself by sourcing answers directly from decades of FT's own content, ensuring that the information is reliable and avoids the legal ambiguities associated with other sources. Ask FT is capable of providing up-to-date answers on a wide range of topics, including current events and more general inquiries. For instance, when asked about the leadership of Microsoft's AI products, the chatbot accurately identified Mustafa Suleyman as the head of Microsoft AI, citing recent articles from the FT as sources for its information. This demonstrates the chatbot's ability to pull relevant information from specific time frames, in this case between March 1st, 2023, and March 20th, 2024. The chatbot is currently available to a select group of paid subscribers within the FT Professional tier, which targets business professionals and institutions. It's powered by Claude, a large language model developed by Anthropic, although the FT is open to using different models in the future to best meet their needs. Ask FT not only answers questions about current events but can also delve into the FT's archives for deeper historical queries. For example, it correctly identified the founders of YouTube and the date of its founding when asked. This level of detail and accuracy is achieved through extensive internal testing and feedback from a small group of users, allowing the FT to refine the chatbot's performance. The introduction of Ask FT is part of the Financial Times' broader engagement with AI technology. Other examples include the development of an AI chatbot trained on decades of FT articles for testing purposes, and the exploration of AI's potential in creating news stories, as seen in Microsoft's collaboration with Semafor. Additionally, the FT has reported on various AI initiatives, such as Deloitte's rollout of an AI chatbot to its employees, and the ethical considerations surrounding AI chatbots that can imitate deceased individuals. These developments reflect the growing interest and investment in AI technology across different sectors, highlighting the potential of AI to enhance information access, improve efficiency, and address complex challenges.
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