‘Robot Reporters’?

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A New York Times article, “The Rise of the Robot Reporters,” says some of the big nooze agencies are now using robots to “write” routine news stories (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/05/business/media/artificial-intelligence-journalism-robots.html), freeing the live reporters for “more substantive work,” heh-heh.

Wait a minute! Don’t we already have robot reporters that look like people? Sure we do! That’s how they all wind up saying the same thing every night: it’s their programming. “[Problem whatever] is Donald Trump’s fault!” “It’s racism!” “Also that other thing is racism!” “Government has the answers!” “Global Warming causes cold weather!” And on and on and on they go.

Bloomberg News, says the Times article, uses a computer that can swiftly “analyze a financial report and spit out an immediate news story.” Superfluous–they already have human reporters that can spit out news stories. No one cares whether they’re true, as long as they’re all saying the same thing. Other nooze outlets use the robots to spit out sports stories.

I used to rewrite local sports when I was a newspaperman. It was boring! We did it because those stories had value for our readers–like when your kid has a big day in soccer. You clip out the article and put it in your scrapbook. It was rote work to us, but rather special to the readers: so we did it.

And now I’ve got to get out of here and write a Newswithviews column!

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

9 responses to “‘Robot Reporters’?

  • marlene

    So the fakestream news media will have someone to take the blame for the mendacious news they create. They certainly don’t intend to change that.
    The truth is not in them, nor will it come from the robots’ programmers. It’s their agenda to make us believe everything they say and write through repetition. On the upside, there’s hope we’ll see and hear less of their broken anchors-that-look-like-people, whose ships can now sail away…


  • Erlene Talbott

    Most “reporters” AKA propagandists already sound like speaking robots.
    They speak so fast, and in that sing’song voice, they are disgusting to listen to. That is why I do not bother any more.


  • Unknowable

    Robot written stories. This is a disaster in the making. I hope no one is so foolish as to take such output seriously.


  • thewhiterabbit2016

    And today we also have robot investors. They collect the data on companies, analyze them, and make decisions. The less the one feeding the robot the data knows about the companies being studied, the more accurate the investments – welcome to the 21st century Stock Market.


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