Taking The Journalists Out Of Journalism
from the replaced dept
Stories about different jobs being replaced by computers have been a favorite for journalists over the years — now it’s some of those journalists being replaced by computers. The Thomson Financial news service says that it will expand the use of computers to write automated stories, mainly on things like earnings reports, which it can churn out as quickly as 0.3 seconds. These sorts of stories are the stock and trade of financial newswires, with speed and accuracy the two most important elements, so there’s no reason a computer shouldn’t be used to quickly digest a company’s earnings report, compare the results to the previous year’s, then spit out a quick story — which typically follows a rigid format, even when written by a human. And, of course, it’s cheaper than employing a small army of human writers, but Thomson says speed is the only consideration here (though surely the cost savings don’t hurt), and that the system will free up reporters for more thought-intensive tasks, which is how these types of project should be approached: using technology to automate menial tasks to allow human resources to be allocated to other tasks computers can’t handle. Thomson says it’s been working on different types of software to write different types of stories, making us wonder how long before they release their summer rerun program, freeing up their writers for a nice mid-year break.
Comments on “Taking The Journalists Out Of Journalism”
I’m pretty certain Barbara Cartwright is just a humanized-brand like Mrs. Field or Mom’s Friendly Robot Company) for romance-novel writing software. Stephen King lately too.
Re: Prior Art
First slacker of the post! Send my cash reward to victims of the somewhat-recent exploding capacitor disaster.
This is New?
I though TechDirt writers were computers? My bad, computes have a sense of humor.
Speaking of prior art
I hope the Patent Office doesn’t issue one for this. The real prior art here is Mad Libs.
the comments are written by computers.
Don't databases do this already?
Don’t databases do this already?
Databases already generate reports. No, they’re not stories but neither is what’s mentioned in the article.
Just like stats...
Journalists don’t need computers to take their jobs from them, they have Katie Couric.
But seriously, earnings reports are hardly stories…they’re more like stats summarized into words. I wouldn’t really call the folks that write those journalists. And I’m guessing they’re happy to not write them.
Analyzing those reports is where it’s at.
It's a conspiracy
This is a conspiracy by the Bush administration to stop journalists from reporting the real news. Computers might start reporting the positive news from Iraq or might put news that would help Republicans on the front page, rather than burying it 12 paragraphs deep in a page 10 story like true, objective journalists would. I mean, computers don’t hate conservatives, so how can they write the news? Leave that to the professionals!
How else could he make his money more easy… Good idea though. I’m sure it will be trendy.
I think are lot are written by robots already aren’t they ?
How many times have you heard the phrase :
” . . . ended the day in positive territory ” ?
It's a conspiracy
Journalists do not hate conservatives. Journalists hate themselves.