Saturday, 17 May 2014

ticker-tape or news you can use

Several companies world-wide, including the Frauenhofer Institute in Germany, are developing applications that can process unfiltered data through algorithms which the program can fetch autonomously from the æther (with apparently little mentorship, apprenticeship or copy-editing) to formulate news articles, written in natural language.

These robo- journalism platforms produce relatively simple reports and have become proficient at relaying sports scores and stock market developments, with the ability to nuance coverage with all- encompassing access to archives and unfailing instincts for research and no abandon to hyperbole or histrionics, but there is no reason why the programs would not grow more sophisticated and take on more serious journalism—surpassing recommended articles for an individual's daily digest with actually writing a tailored one-off piece. I guess that such copy would also be well-suited for the language of targeted advertizing and marketing. The robots may prove especially well-matched in reviving the niche press, village newspapers, which have a very avid though limited readership—which is also I suppose the domain of bloggers. I do not think robojournalism will have an edge on the human press, weathermen or sports' casters anytime soon, but there is certainly the potential for advancement. What do you think—will robot writers replace human reporters?