The rise of the robo-journalists

As technology continues to become more and more advanced, it’s believed that 47% of jobs could be mechanised in the near future with intelligent machinery, algorithms and AI taking over jobs from manufacturing to customer services.

Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that even the news and journalism industry is facing major transformations.

Last month it was announced that the Press Association won a £621,000 grant from Google to start up a news service where computers write news stories. Yes, robo-journalists are becoming real!

Google’s investment means that the Press Association will team up with Urbs Media to set up Radar – Reporters And Data And Robots – where robots will create up to 30,000 local news stories a month.

So what’s the future for ‘human journalists’?

Although it may feel like journalist’s jobs are coming under threat, the Press Association strongly believes that this is a positive step in the right direction. Editor-in-chief, Peter Clifton, explained that “skilled human journalists will still be vital in the process, but Radar allows us to harness artificial intelligence to scale up to a volume of local stories that would be impossible to provide manually.”

And PR Week also supports the initiative, saying that “robo-journalists are emerging to take some of the workload off humans, freeing them to work on bigger stories, which may actually protect their jobs instead of endangering them.”

In fact Radar are already recruiting journalists, with this job ad currently active on LinkedIn, offering journalists the chance to be a part of an ambitious project that will change the face of regional, local and hyperlocal news production in the UK and Ireland.

So perhaps this isn’t the end of the road for the professional journalist, but instead an exciting and progressive change to their job description?

PR Week even gave us two sample headlines to see if we could spot the difference between the human and the robot:

“The online retailer posted revenue of $37.96 billion in the period, topping Street forecasts. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $37.21 billion”

vs

“Revenues of $38 billion. Analysts were expecting $37.2 billion. Amazon posted sales of $30.4 billion in the second quarter last year”

See if you can you tell the difference, and decide whether you think the robo-journalist is indeed a threat or actually a hero.

By | 2017-10-11T09:41:43+00:00 October 11th, 2017|Blog, Digital, News|

About the Author:

Junior Account Manager Lucy works across multiple accounts providing PR strategy, copywriting and media relations. She has previously worked in an agency in Madrid and holds a Diploma in Journalism.