Turning inner space into outer space

February 16, 2012

The robo-reporters are taking over

If anyone was safe in the age of the Internet and new technology, you might think it would be content creators — the writers and reporters. But maybe not.

A new service called Narrative Science uses robots with artificial intelligence to scour sources such as Twitter and cobble together articles. At this point, the quality isn’t great, but it will likely improve with time.

Peter Kafka writes at All Things D:

This is a work in progress that’s meant to illustrate an interesting project Narrative Science is working on: The Chicago-based company got its start by creating stories out of “structured” data sets, like baseball box scores. Now it is looking at “unstructured” data — like the thousands of messages that Twitter puts out each second — as story fodder, too.

It occurs to me that many people already think of the news as being produced this way. They have no appreciation for the work reporters have to put into a story before it’s published.

So maybe this sort of thing will turn out to be acceptable. Still, Kafka goes on to try to reassure himself:

The trick for content makers like myself is to find work that only content makers like myself can do — work where human qualities like experience, judgment and creativity get rewarded. And if we can’t do that, we ought to be doing something else, anyway.

Yes, there’s always that.

Link: Twitter + Robots = Instant Stories, No Humans Required