“Automated Journalism”, Robots in the Newsroom: The Future of Corporate Media

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The Main-Stream Media (MSM) or corporate media has recently began making moves to replace humans with robots or “automated journalism” to produce its news stories. Not to say that the corporate media journalists who currently work under the propaganda machine are independent and are committed to the truth. However, more than ever, corporate media conglomerates are slowly replacing those same traditional journalists with robots that can produce twice the amount of stories at a faster rate to beat out their competition is just one of the reasons for the change.  But there is a bigger picture to this new advanced technology.

Robots as we know, have replaced humans in several industries especially in the automobile industry where robots are already replacing humans on production lines. The media is no exception. Recently the New York Post (a tabloid propaganda newspaper) reported that Bilderberg attendee and Bloomberg’s Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait told Bloomberg’s 2,400 journalists in an internal office memo that he was creating a 10-person team that will study how to “use more automation in writing and reporting.” Micklethwait reportedly said:

“Why do we need you, if the basic idea is to get computers to do more of the work?” Micklethwait asked in the memo, obviously addressing an unspoken concern among his staff.

“One irony of automation is that it is only as good as humans make it. That applies to both the main types of automated journalism. In the first, the computer will generate the story or headline by itself. But it needs humans to tell it what to look for, where to look for it and to guarantee its independence and transparency to our readers. In the second sort, the computer spots a trend, delivers a portion of a story to you and in essence asks the question: Do you want to add or subtract something to this and then publish it? And it will only count as Bloomberg journalism if you sign off on it.”

“Done properly, automated journalism has the potential to make all our jobs more interesting,” he said

New York Magazine published an article in 2014 titled ‘Robots Are Invading the News Business, and It’s Great for Journalists’ interviewed an independent analyst by the name of Ken Doctor:

Ken Doctor, an independent analyst who studies the news industry, told me this week that the rise of robot reporting is a product of the times — both technologically and in terms of the troubled economics of the news industry, which has led media organizations to search for ways to reduce their costs. “The robots are just another tool of new journalism,” he said. In the future, Doctor predicts, robots won’t just be reporters’ competitors. They’ll collaborate with us by preparing data-dense paragraphs that we can then supplement with our own analysis, producing a hybrid story that’s better than our human efforts alone.

“Journalism is becoming a more highly skilled job,” Doctor said. “Simply showing up, in the Woody Allen sense — being able to read a press release or interview a single person, and write up a story that is understandable in 750 words — that’s not going to be enough. The optimistic part of this is that we’d use computers to do the basic work of organizing facts, and that the judgment and analysis, the interpretation, the experience is brought to it by humans”

In 2014, the Associated Press partnered with Automated Insights (AI) to produce automated quarterly earnings reports by using AI’s Wordsmith platform. According to AI’s website:

The Associated Press, working with Automated Insights and Zacks Investment Research, uses automation technology to write earnings stories. Previously, AP’s reporters wrote such stories. AP now produces nearly 3,700 quartlery earnings stories for US and Canadian companies, over 12 times the number that AP reporters and editors produced manually

Robots taking the place of humans in the newsroom are just another way of eliminating journalists to cut labor costs. Just like McDonalds is eliminating their workforce and replacing them with robots to serve customers due to the $15 an hour increase in the minimum wage across the U.S. Although Ken Doctor said that the way robots (providing and organizing basic facts) would collaborate with humans who would then provide the experience and the final analysis to produce a “hybrid story” is nonsense, it’s about reducing costs for corporate news owners and executives. Another important factor to consider is that humans and robots collaborating to produce news are easily controlled by top management. According to a 2014 article from Politico by Charles Lewis, a former 60 Minutes “investigative” producer and founder and former Executive Director for the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) wrote a story titled ‘Why I Left 60 Minutes’ and said:

Fewer commercial news organizations support investigative journalism now than at any time in recent history, and reporters today—especially those who aggressively seek the truths that government, business and other powerful institutions seek to conceal—are arguably more alone, more exposed and more vulnerable to professional and even physical harm than they ever were. There has to be a better way

Charles Lewis left the CPI in 2005 which has been hijacked by the CIA-connected Ford Foundation, George Soros’s ‘Open Society Foundation’ and other corporate foundations who are major contributors for the nonprofit organization. The corporate media will be a competitive market for journalists especially if they are competing against robots that do not require a salary, a retirement plan or healthcare benefits. It is not a hard choice for those who manage or own corporate media especially when it comes to their profits and political agendas.

 

3 Responses to “Automated Journalism”, Robots in the Newsroom: The Future of Corporate Media

  1. On May 1, 2016 at 11:12 am Roger said:

    This is far worse than the article says. There is Artificial Intelligence software writing many of the stories in the mainstream media. Many stories are attributed to non existent authors. Further, the same story might have different authors depending on where it is published. This is done as these fake “authors” develop a reputation on certain web sites. Finally, many of the comments are also fake. This is one of the reasons that so many of the “rebuttals” to a well written comment that goes against the article are nonsensical. The same is often true for comments that support the article.

  2. On May 1, 2016 at 11:19 am Roger said:

    A good way to tell if an article is fake is to put a lengthy quote into a search engine and see what comes up. Often you will see the same article by a different author on another web site. In fact you might see the EXACT same article by DOZENS of different authors on dozens, if not hundreds of web sites. This happens all the time. Sites like Alternet, Politico, Rawstory, etc. are notorious for this. It seems to happen far more on left wing wen sites than those that are right wing.

  3. On May 3, 2016 at 7:14 am Ron Chapman said:

    G’day Timothy,

    Thank you for this article. It is certainly a sign of the times.

    Recently it occurred to me that virtually all news programs are actually INFOTAINMENT with a subterranian but massive, PROPAGANDA component. News is already churned out in a totally formulaic fashion right down to the intonations and standardised emotive rhetoric. For instance people never “say” anything, they always “vow”. If MSM daily news isn’t already formulated by robots it certainly could be. Moreover, Western MSM consumer audiences ARE mostly robotoids, and those that aren’t, are brain dead mind controllees anyway. So I don’t suppose it matters very much.

    Incidentally, as this article illustrates, be aware that the global matrix controllers are incrementally reducing the employment requirement for human labour by substituting robots in ever increasing numbers. The effect HAS to be ever growing unemployment which absolutely necessitates the collapse of the existing Capitalist “MONEY MEME” and “Welfare State” global economy. That is happening NOW! For what this means see eg: The Permanent Unemployment & Underemployment Economy – http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/The-Permanent-Unemployment-Underemployment-Economy.shtml

    Unless we accept total global chaos involving a massive human extinction event and destruction of the scientific and technological advances that cause the greatly reduced need for human labour, humanity needs to RETHINK its existing personal and collective economic paradigms to allow for the impending liberation of humanity from wage slavedom and the money MEME which causes it. THINK ABOUT IT! As robots and technological advances make most physical and much mental labour unnecessary, how should humanity adjust to accommodate the changes involved? Failing to eliminate the current Capitalist (money) meme that justifies a few banksters and corporatists “OWNING” almost everyone and everything on this planet (see eg: The Matrix, the Strawman and WHO You Are – http://abundanthope.net/pages/Ron_71/The_Matrix_the_Strawman_and_WHO_You_Are_3030.shtml), will result in mass starvation and violence and the extinction of billions of gentiles in the near future as the “OWNERS” fail to provide employment and taxes; and access to food and other resources humanity needs for an abundant or any lifestyle.

    The short answer to this problem is that we must ditch the “money meme” mentality and begin to embracea genuine sharing and caring for everyone and everything on this planet. We do not have to elminate money immediately but we do need to start rapidly adjusting the mindset that the money idea has created. In particular we need to understand and reject the lunatic attitudes and practices of governments, banksters and corporatists which have caused the global dystopia in which we live. If you disagree, explain Bail Outs”, “Bail Ins”, Negative Interest rates, “Helicopter Money” and all the rest of the bullshit churned out by governments, banksters and their hired help. Arguably, The first step in achieving the needed paradigm switch will be to require that each community either creates for itself or receives from a genuinely incorruptable, transparent and adequatly publiclly audited central source, supplies of gold, silver or commodity backed INTEREST FREE money, sufficient to enable the community to organise and pay for all the physical goods and services its members are able to produce for their needs. Moreover, to prevent hoarding and impedience of the velocity of movement of money in the community, money should reduce in face value over time. Banking should become a utility function like the post office with banks having no commercial entrepreneurial functions but able to return money to the Treasury without loss, when its value reduces or expires.

    This process will eliminate the parasitic misuse and hoarding of money and give everyone the ability to earn or obtain (if unable to work or contribute to community welfare for some appropriate reason), sufficient money to maintain a reasonable lifestyle without the stigma of unemployment and poverty. Such changes will also require elimination of Capitalist and materialist attitudes to ownership of land, planetary resources; and community resources like factories, robots and other technologies required for production of abundance for everyone. It follows that human personhood rights for corporations must also be eliminated and anyone operating any “corporation” or business must be held responsible for whatever is done under their direction and control. In short, everyone would be required to be personally responsible for any harm resulting from what they or their agents do or fail to do.

    Such a system would reduce most societal governance decisions and arrangements down to local and district levels based on Kritarchic principles. For some discussion of Kritarchy see: Life with no Government – http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Life-with-no-Government_printer.shtml
    Peace and blessings,
    Ron
    *********************