Geeksided.com reported on Monday that robots will begin writing news stories for the Associated Press (AP), the most prevalent of the US News Services, starting in July. This sounds like something right out of science fiction but the news is indeed a reality according to multiple reports.
AP will begin putting together financial news stories using automation technology this month with the help of software that was created by Automated Insights. The company calls it’s software Wordsmith, a “platform [that] writes insightful, personalized reports from your data” and which is like “an expert talking with each user in plain English.”
The Wordsmith software will help newsrooms create 4000+ articles to every 300 articles written and published nationally every quarter by humans, reported Poyntr.
Wordsmith works by taking in raw data and converting that data into articles that, according to the site, have the “tone, personality and variability of a human writer.” The software constructs (or “crafts”) results that are original, personalized pieces for news publication. Examples of the raw data conversion to text can be viewed on Automated Insights’ home page.
If you think this development is something new, you are wrong. It turns out that AP has been using automated technology to write news stories from sports data for years as well as other statistics based news such as in the occurrence of earthquakes.
Writing news stories via automation technology is not only being adopted by the US but is also being considered by newsrooms in other countries. The Australian reported on Monday that “computers could soon replace Australian journalists,” for example.
While some writers may be afraid that robots are on their way to taking over, AP reports that there are no plans for layoffs or job cuts at all. In fact, writers will be able to use their time and energy to write stories that are less plug and play than statistics based news.
This automation technology is not solely being used by newsrooms. The CIA has invested in this technology and has been using it for quite some time. The technology has also been used in marketing, advertising, and research.