Aspen Digital

Reporting on A.I. Hall of Fame

Celebrating great short descriptions of AI

The Challenge

There are plenty of examples of bad writing about artificial intelligence in the world, and it can be hard to know where to look to get it right. As you read this, people around the world are learning about these tools for the first time. They need help finding the words to describe these complex systems in an accessible, accurate manner.

The Reporting on AI Hall of Fame announced at Aspen Digital’s Talk Better About AI event

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How to Talk About AI

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Our Approach

We called for public submissions of great short descriptions of AI in action from 2023.

Through the release of educational primers on AI, public cross-sectoral events, and this Hall of Fame, we’re helping journalists, civil society organizations, and public policymakers communicate better about these headline-grabbing technologies.

Submissions for the 2023 Reporting on AI Hall of Fame closed February 19, 2024.

Halls of fame can be exclusionary. We use this term not to suggest that the descriptions selected to be featured on this site are the only great examples out there but, rather, to celebrate good writing and create a repository of model sentences for others to learn from. We aim to highlight examples from a wide range of English-language publications from around the world.

Our Rubric

We look for short descriptions of the use or creation of an AI tool that:

  • Use accessible language to convey meaning and define terminology where appropriate.
  • Emphasize human actors (whether as individuals or organizations, or in professional roles) when describing the creation, deployment, and impacts of AI tools.
  • Employ action verbs appropriate to non-living systems (e.g. “generates,” “produces a representation,” or “processes,” rather than “writes,” “believes,” or “understands”).
    Note: while generally best avoided, personifying terms may be acceptable when clearly used in simile or within “scare quotes.”
  • Describe current capabilities of AI tools in a factual manner, distinct from marketing claims.

Short descriptions should be 100 words or fewer, and come from a nonfiction source, such as a news article, blog post, or research report.

Some Great Examples

Below are some examples of excellent sentences that we’ve come across:

For example, the city of Newark, New Jersey, used risk terrain modeling (RTM) to identify locations with the highest likelihood of aggravated assaults. Developed by Rutgers University researchers, RTM matches crime data with information about land use to identify trends that could be triggering crimes.

— Aaron Sankin and Surya Mattu, The Markup

What makes it great: Names the specific tool (RTM), clarifies both the tool developers and users (Rutgers and the city of Newark), and explains the specific application of the tool (to identify locations of highest likelihood of aggravated assaults).

Google, for example, used its DeepMind AI to reduce the energy used for cooling its data centers by up to 40 percent.

— Wayne Brough, R Street Institute

What makes it great: Concise and accessible. Names the specific tool (DeepMind AI) and organization using it (Google) as well as the particular use (to reduce energy use).

Many elections offices use algorithmic systems to maintain voter registration databases and verify mail ballot signatures, among other tasks.

— Mekela Panditharatne, The Brennan Center for Justice

What makes it great: Concise and accessible. Names specific users (elections offices) and purposes (to maintain voter registration databases, etc).

The researchers dubbed these anomalous tokens “unspeakable” by ChatGPT, and their existence highlights both how AI models are inscrutable black boxes without clear explanations for their behavior, and how they can have unexpected limitations and failure modes. ChatGPT has been used to generate convincing essays, articles, and has even passed academic exams.

— Chloe Xiang, Vice

What makes it great: Uses scare quotes for anthropomorphic language (“unspeakable”). Names a specific tool (ChatGPT) and implies human users (has been used).

This work was made possible thanks to generous support from Siegel Family Endowment.