June 30, 2014
The AP wire service has announced plans to automate the process of writing business earnings reports, according to Poynter’s MediaWire.
While it’s fun to refer to this as using robots, as suggested by the article’s headline (AP will use robots to write some business stories), we shouldn’t get too carried away. The kind of reports being generated here are largely boilerplate stuff anyway, and for most journalists they are a boring and repetitive task.
In the end, automation will mean many more earnings reports can be created, and journalists can spend more time on substantive pieces that look at what the numbers mean. So everybody wins!
Technology has not always brought a lot of joy to the news industry, but this would appear to be one time when we should welcome it.
Bonus trivia: Where that overlords meme originated.