If you thought robots could never replace journalists, think twice.
That’s certainly been the case at The Associated Press, America’s oldest 24-hour news agency. AP produced 3,000 articles in the past quarter, 10X more than it used to, by using automated technology.
According to The Verge, AP has been able to do it by partnering with Automated Insights, a company that specialises in “robot journalism.” Automated Insights uses artificial intelligence and Big Data analysis to automatically generate data-heavy articles, such as earnings reports.
Initially there was some human editing involved, but now most of the articles are fully automated — with far fewer errors than human reporters and editors. In theory, it could crank out 2,000 articles per second.
But AP says the purpose of having “robot journalists” is not about replacing its reporters, at least in the foreseeable future. Instead, it is to allow the reporters to spend more time on high-quality journalism.
Of course, this is not the first time we’ve seen a computer software do a better job than its human counterparts. Last year, we wrote about Narrative Science, another story automation company, that claims it can do the type of deep analysis a $US250,000 per year consultant would do.
If you’re still not a believer in “robot journalism,” make sure you read AP’s article on Apple’s latest earnings. There’s no byline, but just a small note at the end: “This story was generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research.”
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