Now there’s a thing. The Associated Press, according to reports, is planning to automate the process of creating news articles for the press service by using algorithms, essentially allowing for news content to be written by robots.
Unlike other industries that see robots taking over tasks, this won’t mean any job cuts for the AP. Instead, they’ll just be increasing the amount of content produced by the service while retaining human reporters for the complicated stuff that can’t be done using an algorithm.
According to AP Managing Editor Lou Ferrara, “If anything, we are doubling down on the journalism we will do around earnings reports and business coverage…our journalists will focus on reporting and writing stories about what the numbers mean and what gets said in earnings calls on the day of the release, identifying trends and finding exclusive stories we can publish at the time of the earnings reports.”
PopSci points out that automated news reporting isn’t new. The Los Angeles Times and Forbes are two companies that have used some form of automation in the past to generate news content so this could be the coming thing. Human reporters would just be required to look deeper than just the facts and stats behind what is created by the robotic overlords. And that could lead to better reporting all round.