Robot Journalism Is In Full Swing, And Its Working


Catherine Taibi

January 30, 2015

The Associated Press published a story Tuesday that contained no byline. It wasn’t a mistake — not a slip-up on the part of the editor. But rather the story’s author was not human; it was written by a robot.

“This story was generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research,” read a note at the bottom of the article.

In June, AP announced that it would begin using automation technology to write breaking news stories and earnings reports. The Los Angeles Times had already employed similar technology to break stories more efficiently than other news outlets.

So-called robot journalism has enabled the AP to crank out some 3,000 reports each quarter — up from 300 — according to a press release from Automated Insights.

Many of those stories are now also being published “without human intervention,” AP’s assistant business editor Philana Patterson told the Verge. In other words, stories are going directly into the wire without any human edits.

I wouldn’t expect a good journalist to not be skeptical,” Patterson told the Verge.

But, according to Automated Insights, no jobs have been lost due to the introduction of robot journalism. However, the stories produced by robots do “contain far fewer errors” than those previously written by humans.

“Automation was never about replacing jobs,” AP vice president and managing editor Lou Ferrara said. “It has always been about how we can best use the resources we have in a rapidly changing landscape and how we harness technology to run the best journalism company in the world.”

This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post

This article was written by Catherine Taibi from Huffington Post and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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