Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Will Computers Put Journalists Out Of Business? Check Out These 7 Stories

For many of you this is probably nothing new and though I may have noticed it in my peripheral vision, recent events have caused me to take a more serious look at the future of journalism as a profession. Due to the internets we've already seen deep cuts on the payrolls of publishing houses these past twenty years, and I suspect the damage there is not yet done. One publishing house that used to have 60 magazines has either sold off or pared down their portfolio to ten publications.

Lately I've been devouring a number of books about the robotics, artificial intelligence and the future, including most recently Rise of the Robots and Machines of Loving Grace, both well researched and eye opening. What was formerly catching my attention out of the corner of my eye has now captured my full attention.

If you are a professional writer, or a student pursuing a writing career, you might wish to read through these articles and see how your career will mesh with tomorrow's advances in A.I. There's a part of us that cringes at the notion of art made by computers, or poetry. But what will the next generation think about these things? Check out the sixth story about how a computer covers a sporting event. There's almost no question that future fans will adapt fairly quickly to these automated game summaries.

Maybe one day I will get a freelance bot to write my blog post for me. Hopefully my efforts to put a bit of human personality in my writing will keep me in the game. But you never know. Those computers are getting pretty smart these days, and one day they might just figure me out.

The journalists who never sleep
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/12/artificial-intelligence-data-journalism-media

And the Pulitzer goes to... a computer.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/28/computer-writing-journalism-artificial-intelligence

Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?
http://www.wired.com/2012/04/can-an-algorithm-write-a-better-news-story-than-a-human-reporter/

This Geek Will Put Reporters Out of Business
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/06/this-geek-will-put-reporters-out-of-business.html
"Artificial intelligence systems can turn structured data into stories so sophisticated they're indistinguishable from those penned by humans. How robots are taking over the newsroom."

Will robots replace journalists?
https://fojproject.com/blog/will-robots-replace-journalists

Robo-journalism: How a computer describes a sports match
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34204052

Will Writers Become Obsolete?
http://www.leftistreview.com/2013/11/24/will-writers-become-obsolete/kelliaramares/

What's your take on all this? Just curious.

Meantime... life goes on. Hallelujah. 

1 comment:

LEWagner said...

What passes for "journalism" absolutely refuses to address the issues, and has for years.
The Trina Langenbrunner case is just one example. That "arson fire", for example. The Sheriff of neither county, none of the Fire Inspectors, even the grand-daughter of the supposed victim of the fire -- NONE of them know where the fire happened, and it was never reported in any paper, either, until after it was "solved".
Yet all the channels, both "mainstream" AND "alternative" report the same transparent lies.
I'm the only one who has addressed that non-existent fire, in my blog. And the fact that Tom Hinze was never DNA-tested, though they DID DNA-test many many other people.
The forced drugging of hundreds by the Human Development Center is another example. The only way to try to counter the lies in the past was a Letter to the Editor -- which the Tribune used to "edit for reasons of clarity", ... and leave the most important parts out, or even change the meaning.
So, private people have had to write on the issues on their own, and publish the best they can, on the Internet. Some are making a little money at it, many more do it to try to get the truth out.
You already know the answer to your question, why ask?