Video killed the radio star. Internet killed the newspapers. Now, robots are coming for the reporters. In a new report from China, it’s looking more and more like robots have found their way into the newsroom, and they might have earned the right to stay.
The developer of the new robots, Wan Xiaojun, a professor at Peking University, had this to say:
“When compared with the staff reporters, Xiao Nan has a stronger ability to analyze data and is quicker at writing stories. But it does not mean intelligent robots will soon be able to completely replace reporters.”
The first in this new breed of reporters is a robot named Xiao Nan. He’s now cranking out 300 character articles for the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily in a couple of seconds per piece. He’s not just limited to small posts either, Nan can handle long form as well.
The good news is that robots still lack the intuition that can make a reporter truly great. The bad news is that they are fast. This means we can expect to see an army of computerized content creation over the next couple of years. Forget Skynet, it’s going to be click bait and listicles that do us in.