Mattia Peretti

Seeking sustainability through radical new solutions and extreme user-centricity

Years before most journalists had AI tools at their fingertips,   Mattia Peretti was already thinking deeply about how news organizations could use artificial intelligence responsibly and effectively, while understanding AI’s risks and implications.

As an ICFJ Knight Fellow for 2024, Peretti initially decided to explore how generative AI could be used by news organizations to better serve their communities, but in the first few weeks of the fellowship, he understood that his problem statement was flawed: “We can’t make our industry more sustainable without radical new solutions and creating products that users actually want. The role AI might play in creating them is somewhat irrelevant.”

As a result of this insight, Peretti decided to switch the focus of his ICFJ Knight Fellowship to bringing together a coalition of people who believe that AI technologies can indeed help the journalism industry, but only if first we collectively embrace the fact that our mission is not to be content creators but to provide a service built on listening. Only by focusing ruthlessly on this mission, we can reinvent journalism and find new paths to sustainability.

His passion for systems thinking, learning experience design, data analysis and community building underpins his commitment to this new endeavor. With a career dedicated to supporting innovation in journalism, Peretti stands at the forefront of a transformative journey in the media world.

Peretti’s expertise is rooted in his rich background in journalism, media, and AI. From 2019 to 2023, he was the manager of JournalismAI, a joint initiative of Polis – the journalism think-tank at the London School of Economics and Political Science – and the Google News Initiative, aimed at empowering news organizations to use artificial intelligence responsibly. He has created online courses and other learning experiences for GNI and JournalismAI that have trained thousands of journalists on how to use AI tools to enhance their work.