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A new way to report the latest news

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by Sumana Bhattacharya


September 18, 2021

News stories are created by automated journalism computer programs, also known as algorithmic journalism or robot journalism. Stories are generated automatically by computers rather than human journalists using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. These programs analyze, organize, and present data in a form that humans can understand. Typically, an algorithm examines huge amounts of data, chooses from a variety of preprogrammed item formats, organizes important points, and inserts information such as names, locations, amounts, ratings, statistics. and other figures. The output can be tailored to a specific voice, tone or style. Some data is converted into stories written in human language in robotic journalism. Natural language generation (NLG) methods are used to accomplish this. When structured data is available and the problem repeats itself, robotic journalism is the ideal solution. Collecting data, identifying notable events, prioritizing ideas, producing the story, and ultimately publishing the news are the five stages of automated journalism.

Automated journalism is often seen as a way to free journalists from regular reporting and give them more time to work on more difficult projects. It also enables greater efficiency and lower costs, alleviating some of the financial pressures faced by many news organizations. Automated journalism, on the other hand, is seen as a threat to the authorship and quality of news, as well as to the livelihoods of human journalists.

Benefits of robotic journalism:

Speed:

Automation enables rapid publication of news articles – as source data becomes available, an article can be produced almost instantly. Journalist robots are designed to produce huge amounts of data at a faster rate. According to the associated press, automation has more than increased the number of benefit reports received from consumers tenfold. They can generate items of 150 to 300 words in the time it takes journalists to analyze the numbers and compile the content using automated analysis software and data from other companies. Journalists will have more time for difficult tasks like investigative reporting and in-depth analysis of events if regular articles and activities are automated.

Cost

Because more material can be generated in less time, automated journalism is less expensive. It also saves newspaper companies money on manpower. Reduced human input means lower wages, salaries, paid vacations, vacations and employment insurance costs. For news agencies with limited resources but wanting to maintain the breadth and quality of their coverage, automation is a cost-saving option.

Without errors

It is stated that automated journalism systems are less prone to errors as they do not make errors such as spelling mistakes or mathematical errors. In other words, their accuracy is higher than that of human journalists – provided the code is free of errors and the underlying data is accurate.

Disadvantages of robotic journalism:

Paternity

There is sometimes a misunderstanding of who should be attributed as an author in an automated article. Algorithmic authorship research found that some participants gave credit to the programmer, while others saw the news agency as the author, emphasizing the collaborative aspect of the work. There is no way for a reader to know if an article was written by a robot or a person, which presents transparency issues, however, similar issues exist when human authors take credit for each other. to others.

Quality and reliability

Concerns about the perceived reliability of automated information are comparable to general concerns about the credibility of information. Beyond human examination, there is now a plethora of algorithmic approaches to identify machine-written articles. While some articles may still contain flaws that are obvious to a person, these automated identifiers can sometimes outperform articles written by humans.

Use

One of the main concerns with robotic journalism is the loss of jobs for journalists when publications use artificial intelligence (AI).

At least in industries that rely heavily on data, like sports and finance, robotic journalism is becoming the norm. Its influence can now be noticed when human journalists have more time to examine different perspectives and hot topics rather than doing repetitive work. In addition, news organizations can produce more information and reach a wider audience.

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