On Tuesday January 27th, 2015, the Associated Press published a story which
contained no byline. It wasn’t a mistake on the part of the editor.
Rather the story’s author was not human; it was written by a robot.
“This story was generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research,” read a note at the bottom of the article.
Machines seem to be taking over journalism by
writing stories ‘without human edits’. What this may translate into is
that witty, funny and sharp articles may soon be a thing of the
In June, AP announced that it would begin using automation technology to
write breaking news stories and earnings reports. The Los Angeles Times
had already employed similar technology to break stories more
efficiently than other news outlets.
So-called robot journalism has enabled the AP to crank out some 3,000 reports each quarter — up from 300 — according to a press release from Automated Insights.
“Many of those stories are now also being published “without human intervention,”
AP’s assistant business editor Philana Patterson told the Verge. In
other words, stories are going directly into the wire without any human
“I wouldn’t expect a good journalist to not be skeptical,” Patterson told the Verge.
But, according to Automated Insights, no jobs have been lost due to the introduction of robot journalism. However, the stories produced by robots do “contain far fewer errors” than those previously written by humans.
“Automation was never about replacing jobs,” AP vice president and managing editor Lou Ferrara said. “It
has always been about how we can best use the resources we have in a
rapidly changing landscape and how we harness technology to run the best
journalism company in the world.”
The automated technology will take many years to perfect, so well…maybe journalists really have nothing to worry about.