Thursday, January 21, 2016

Davos, The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Robot Journalism

I'm pretty sure half the reports being filed from Davos, what with their regurgitated "Fourth Industrial Revolution" pablum, are written by robots.
Here's someone not in Switzerland, R&D Magazine:
Much attention at the 2016 World Economic Forum has been focused on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With the proliferation of advanced robotics, autonomous transport, artificial intelligence, machine learning and advances in biotechnology and advanced materials, the skills needed to be an integral member of the workforce will change. Jobs will change. Some will be lost, some will grow, and others will be entirely new. 
And in this brave new world, the journalism field will change too. Already, the Associated Press (AP) has used an automated system to produce news stories. The system, which in 2015 was reported as producing around 3,000 stories per quarter, could potentially produce an estimated 2,000 articles per second. 
Andreas Graefe, of the Ludwig Maximilian Univ. of Munich, is studying how humans react to content produced by computer systems. 
“At the moment, the approach is used primarily for the coverage of financial and sporting news,”said Graefe. “In both these fields, reports are largely based on already structured data. But the strategy will undoubtedly be extended to cover other subject areas and topics.”     
Automated journalism works in a variety of ways. On a simple level, a code can glean numbers from a database and then insert the numbers into pre-written template stories. Other methods attempt to create more complex narratives via big data analytics and natural language generation technology. 
According to Columbia Univ.’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, there are 11 companies currently providing automated journalism solutions. But the field is growing quickly....MORE

The Associated Press Is Leading the Charge to Deploy Robo-journalists
Automating the Newsroom: The AP's Robot Copy Editor
Robo-journalists: Beyond the Quakebot
Robot Writing Moves from Journalism to Wall Street
And Here Come the Robo-journalists "The CIA Invests in Narrative Science and Its Automated Writers" 
Sure, MoneyBeat Says Their Posts Are Not Written by Robots But How Can We Know?
"Reuters gutting web infrastructure for 'Reuters Next,' its big online retooling" 
Washington Post considered using robot sportswriters 
A Deep Dive Into the Future of RoboAnalysts (will entry level hedgies still command $353K to start?)