What if we could turn extensive newspaper archives, millions upon millions of articles on paper, into an interactive, voice-activated robot?
The opportunity (and challenge) was too good for us to pass on. We were soon joined by Google to create a first of its kind; a truly ingenious product in an industry desperate for innovation.
Seeking an innovation specialist.
Archant’s journey with Google began when digital development director Lorna Willis stumbled upon some of our online content. After reading a few pieces, she reached out to our team to throw a tentative idea in the air.
Could we, hypothetically, scan 160 years-worth of old newspapers, extract their content into a digital, processable format, and use this (enormous) database of stories as a hub of local knowledge for an AI-driven voice robot?
Lorna’s vision and enthusiasm were palpable; and contagious. The teams met a few times to explore the idea further and, with every meeting, the project took form.
“Because of where we are now, it’s hard to recall how much of an unknown this project was back then. Almost every single part of Lorna’s idea had never been done before”, recalls Alex project manager on Local Recall.