Understanding Robot Journalism

Amidst the fast-paced breaking news scenario where we devour a plethora of information, robot journalism plays a vital role in automated news writing, production, and other related activities.

It comprises Artificial Intelligence Natural Language Generation software which undertakes the information for generating into a news copy.

Robotic work is among many types of AI, which has now entered into the field of journalism. It is used for various purposes such as speech-to-text, detection of prominent faces, analysis of a video and many others.

According to Scroll.in, in Britain, Google has contributed £6,22,000 in a Reporters And Data And Robots (RADAR) scheme through the Press Association, which has already begun to produce computer-generated news scripts.

It’s seen as a time-saving and quicker competition of work than a human could do, which is particularly required in news organisations.

The robust combination of AI and next-generation networks would develop new possibilities for the media industry as it evolves. AI technology acts as a backdrop behind the media recommendations that are formed based on consumption habits. For example, search engines and aggregators tailor outcomes to individuals, and some digital publications also personalise landing pages. This trend makes the way to grow into a networked society to create more personalised content than has ever been possible before it.

Here are the pros of robot journalism:

a)   Use of machine techniques: It consists of Natural Language Processing (NLG) using editorial templates, trend detection and NLG, voice conversion. These are advancements in searching out trends and creating news stories out of these trends with editorial templates.

b)   New possibilities: Robotic journalism could replace or strengthen some vital journalistic skills such as accuracy and speed and lower-cost production.

c)   Easier process: Journalists focus on more complex issues when AI performs a particular work. For example, The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones use the technology to assist with various tasks, comprising the transcription of interviews or helping journalists recognise deep fakes.

Below listed are cons which robot journalism sustains:

a)   Displacement of jobs: The emergence of AI-driven robotic journalism makes employees suffer hardships as human intervention is less needed in overall work.

b)   Fake news proliferation: Since AI is powered by voice conversion technique, it makes the speaker’s voice to be learnt and could be used to speak any sentence leading to be one of the areas where fake news gets active. For instance, In the US, Quakebot got notified of a report that a 6.8 magnitude earthquake had jolted the Pacific Ocean about ten miles from Santa Barbara. This alert from the US Geological Society was dispatched incorrectly as it was an alert about an earthquake at Santa Barbara in 1925. Numerous news organisations identified the error and dodged the alert. However, Quakebot continued to send a signal to the readers.

c)   Loss of editorial guide: The crucial elements could be missed for a news copy when AI comes into effect, and the nature of writing could differ, which will be a difficult task when perceived by readers or viewers.

From the perspective of automation with a thorough approach, AI can personalise news sites which could augment the efficiency of ad targeting and lower the gap between the ad income of news publishers and tech companies. Provided that news media receives a considerable part of online ad revenues in the upcoming years, AI can put the online news media on a more viable path.