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

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For many of you this idea is 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. The digital age has already caused deep cuts on the payrolls of publishing houses these past twenty years, and though I’m personally a believer in print and the resilience of print media, I suspect the damage there is not entirely complete. One publishing house that used to have 60 magazines has either sold off or pared down its portfolio to ten.

Lately I’ve been devouring a number of books about robotics, artificial intelligence and the future, including most recently Rise of the Robots and Machines of Loving Grace, both well-researched and eye-opening. Times have changed. I won’t say it’s all bad, but it’s certainly different.

If you’re 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 me that cringes at the notion of art made by computers, or poetry. But what will the next generation think? Check out the sixth story on how a computer covers a sporting event. There’s almost no question that future fans will adapt to these automated game summaries.

Maybe one day I’ll get a freelance bot to write my blog post for me. For all we know, a few of the identities here on Medium are just Siri’s cousins, or Watson’s siblings, disguised as writers like you and 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 may even figure me out.

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

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

3. 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/

4. 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.”

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

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

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

You’re a writer. What’s your take on all this? Just curious.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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