Robots Are Writing the News and Nobody’s Talking About It

www.activistpost.com | 2/7/2019 | Staff
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As journalists face increased layoffs despite the growing appetite for up-to-the-minute, timely news, a new trend has quietly been disrupting the news industry.

Enter the automated reporter.

News - Organizations - Intelligence - AI - Production

News organizations are increasingly turning toward artificial intelligence (AI) for production, using a variety of new automated systems to pump out content with minimal need for direct human input.

According to a report by The New York Times, Bloomberg News relies on a system called Cyborg to produce about a third of its articles.

Cyborg - Output - Form - Company - Earnings

Most of Cyborg’s output takes the form of company earnings reports that are rife with percentages, charts, and other financial data that can be crunched down into a news story quickly and accurately.

But Bloomberg isn’t alone. Increasingly, major news agency like Reuters and Associated Press, along with a number of newspapers such as Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, are using algorithms to crunch out news on everything from local minor league sports games to earthquakes.

Patch - News - Nationwide - Relies - AI

Even Patch, which publishes local news nationwide, relies on AI to draft anywhere between 5 to ten percent of its stories for the 800 communities that it serves.

Last year, the Washington Post took first place in the category of “Excellence in Use of Bots” at the Global BIGGIES Awards for its use of Heliograf, a robot reporter that was used in the Post’s coverage of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games and that year’s election. The judges hailed Heliograf’s work for the Post, noting that its “set of examples and explanations are eloquently written and backed. The results also seem quite promising. Very impressive.”

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