The Associated Press, one of the most well-respected journalism institutions on the planet, has announced plans to start using robots to file stories. Our only question: Who gets the byline?
Poynter reports that a firm called Automated Insights will provide the technology, which will apparently allow the media firm to automatically generate and provide as many as 4,400 new news articles for companies every quarter — as opposed to 300 or so that could be done manually.
Hear that, human reporters? You’re been rendered obsolete. Well, crap.
The tech will primarily be used to generate copy based on statistics and data on the business, finance and sports beats, which are fairly data-heavy to begin with. But the reporting service says the new robo-porters won’t be taking jobs. Instead, they’ll reallocate manpower to do more analytical reporting to figure out what the numbers actually mean and provide additional context for readers.
You know, at least until the robots figure out how to do that, too.
This is definitely not the first media company to start using robots to generate copy, but it's certainly the biggest yet to take the plunge. Oddly enough, the algorithms are getting so sophisticated that your average reader can’t even tell the difference these days anyway. So get ready for the robot uprising, because they have a pretty good foothold in legacy media now.