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Al Jazeera announces digital audio initiative

AJMN's Kimchi iOS app and Facebook Messenger are designed to improve how people find and listen to audio on social platforms.

Al Jazeera Media Network has announced the launch of an experimental platform called Kimchi for digital radio. The platform, which AJMN claims is a “first of its kind”, consists of a Facebook Messenger bot and an iPhone app that work together to enable users to search, discover, share and listen to podcasts through smart phones, cars and home audio systems (Alexa and Google Home).

Speaking about the launch, Dr. Yaser Bishr, Executive Director of Digital for Al Jazeera, said: “This launch represents only a glimpse of upcoming digital products from Al Jazeera that will enable audiences to discover the world of podcasts in new innovative ways reflecting Al Jazeera’s digital vision which revolves around innovating in new technologies for natively produced content.”

In addition to investing in developing the technology, Al Jazeera is also investing in building a highly qualified team of content producers to create inspirational, engaging and shareable content.

“The English version will be launched by end of this Spring as part of the official launch, followed by the Arabic version,” Dr. Bishr added.

“Our team has been working on several projects in digital audio that combine ease of discoverability and seamless sharing,” remarked Moeed Ahmad, Manager of Innovation & Research.

“The key element in designing the new platform has been natural language interfaces and interactive sharing, as well as the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning which enhances search results and provide customized experiences.”

User participation and feedback in this experiment will help us shape the final product launch.” he ended.

The details of the bot and the app are available on: http://canvas.aljazeera.com/kimchi/