According to a report by Poynter, the Associated Press will soon make use of automated technology to write some of its news stories. Associated Press robots!
By using technology from a company, Automated Insights, the AP hopes to cut down on the time needed to write certain types of news stories in order to focus more time on others. What types of stories will the robots be responsible for, you ask?
The automated stories will be produced for earnings reports of various companies using data from Zacks Investment Research. Rather than having writers “provide 300 stories manually, we can provide up to 4,400 automatically for companies throughout the United States each quarter.”
The pieces will being distribution in July.
For the Associated Press, this isn’t exactly news. The AP has been using automation to complete many of its sports post-game reports for years. Furthermore, the AP stated that with exception of their new robot writers, it will be business as usual – there is no plan for layoffs or job cuts of any kind.
So what does everyone think?
Truth be told, requiring trained writers to report on earnings was overkill, and it was only a matter of time before an alternative was found. So in this regard, I think the use of automated technology will be a boon for the industry. Writers will be able to better distribute their time towards important stories that can’t be completed by “insert number here.” As soon as these robots start giving advice based on these earnings though…