Watch Out, Journalists: Robots Are Coming For Your Jobs Too

The long arm of automation is reaching out into realms previously thought unconquerable by machines. The Associated Press is proving journalism to be another of those realms.

Here's a scary story for journalists, reporters, and (gulp) aggregating bloggers:


"Minutes after Apple released its record-breaking quarterly earnings this week, the Associated Press published (by way of CNBCYahoo, and others) "Apple tops Street 1Q forecasts." It's a story without a byline, or rather, without a human byline — a financial story written and published by an automated system well-versed in the AP Style Guide. The AP implemented the system six months ago and now publishes 3,000 such stories every quarter — and that number is poised to grow." [The Verge]

According to Ross Miller of The Verge, the AP partnered last year with a company called Automated Insights to compose all quarterly earnings reports. It seems simple—these stories are very formulaic, often just relaying information found in one document into an AP-approved format. So easy a robot can do it.

But just because these reports are getting automated doesn't mean journalists are out of work quite yet:

"Before this program was implemented, the AP estimates it was doing quarterly earnings coverage for about 300 companies. Now it automates 3,000 such reports each quarter. Of those, 120 will have an added human touch, either by updating the original story or doing a separate follow-up piece. One such company is Apple; as Patterson notes, that automated Apple story freed up reporter Brandon Bailey to focus on this angled, more nuanced report contextualizing the company's earnings along with quotes from Apple executives. Others include Google, Coca-Cola, and American Airlines. 180 more are monitored to see if a follow-up is needed."

These stories about automated jobs always end the same way. I say something like, "We're still quite a ways away from seeing this on a broader scale so [insert occupation here] can breathe a little easier... for now."

So, fittingly, I'll end with this: We're still quite a ways away from seeing automated journalism on a broader, more inquisitive scale, so journalists can breathe a little easier... for now.

Read more at The Verge.

Photo credit: kret87 / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less