Technology is constantly evolving, and we keep getting new things that completely change the world as we know it. We can easily save our data with a 365 backup, use virtual reality, develop artificial intelligence, and many others. In fact, we could even have robots that can perform the same tasks as humans, such as writing the news.
While it’s a great idea at first glance, many individuals fear this type of technology, mostly because it would mean that a lot of people will end up losing their jobs. At the same time, there may be fewer job opportunities for those who are good at writing. But can you really train a robot to write the news?
Artificial Intelligence and Using Computers for Stories
So far, we already know about artificial intelligence and the fact that it’s used more and more all over the world. It’s used in a lot of newsrooms, and many people are expecting it to replace reporters.
But that’s not necessarily going to happen. Technology is certainly evolving. It’s already possible for artificial intelligence to achieve things that would take longer for humans to achieve.
As an example, there was a big investigation into the police reports that was published by the LA Times in 2014. Apparently, the Los Angeles Police Department managed to misclassify about 1,200 violent crimes as minor offenses, making them seem less serious than they were. It was a great use of the algorithm as it was able to look through eight years of crime data from the public records and could see that the police misclassified a lot of crimes. After this, the reporters also checked the results manually.
This greatly reduced the task of humans. Artificial intelligence is great for multiplication problems and can do that in a short amount of time. When it comes to creating news, though, there are some things that humans are just better at.
Can Robots Be Trained to Write the News?
Robots can be trained to write the news to some extent. With artificial intelligence, you can give a computer the task to write something and offer it the information it should process in order to write a news article. Based on experiments done so far, computers can be great at storytelling if they have the information.
But robot journalists are not the best at producing articles by themselves. Humans are still needed to tell the computers what information should be processed. Besides, the stories should be valuable because humans want to be able to connect via meaningful information. According to Northeastern assistant professor John Wihbey, a reporter is better as he/she will have to “think about what she can add to the conversations that are genuinely valuable”.
While possible, there will still be a need for journalists who will be able to work with the algorithms in order to produce amazing stories. While some things can be automated, it will not always be possible, even if the technology is going to evolve.
Training a robot to write the news is indeed possible. However, even with all the technology, it isn’t able to make the content as meaningful and compelling as a human does.