A Genetic Algorithm for Finding a Small and Diverse Set of Recent News Stories on a Given Subject: How We Generate AAAI’s AI-Alert

  • Joshua Eckroth i2k Connect, LLC
  • Eric Schoen i2k Connect, LLC


This paper describes the genetic algorithm used to select news stories about artificial intelligence for AAAI’s weekly AIAlert, emailed to nearly 11,000 subscribers. Each week, about 1,500 news stories covering various aspects of artificial intelligence and machine learning are discovered by i2k Connect’s NewsFinder agent. Our challenge is to select just 10 stories from this collection that represent the important news about AI. Since stories and topics do not necessarily repeat in later weeks, we cannot use click tracking and supervised learning to predict which stories or topics are most preferred by readers. Instead, we must build a representative selection of stories a priori, using information about each story’s topics, content, publisher, date of publication, and other features. This paper describes a genetic algorithm that achieves this task. We demonstrate its effectiveness by comparing several engagement metrics from six months of “A/B testing” experiments that compare random story selection vs. a simple scoring algorithm vs. our new genetic algorithm.

IAAI Technical Track: Deployed Papers