Journalists and reporters beware! Your job could be in danger as well because of increased automation and advances in artificial intelligence. It turns out that robotic journalism is a reality with a robot journalist in China writing a 300 characters-long article in just a second.
The article was published by Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily published the first ever such story written by a robot on Wednesday this week. The article was focused on the Spring Festival travel rush, scientists say.
Wan Xiaojun, a professor at Peking University leads a team of researchers designing, building and studying such robots and according to him the robot Xiao Nan took only a second to finish writing the piece. The robot is even capable of writing longer reports based on the information that is fed to it, the researchers added.
Thanks to advancements in AI and data analytics, Xiao Nan is blessed with much stronger data analysis capabilities because of which it is able to write stories much quickly than staff reporters, the lead researchers of the project said. While Xiao Nan is the first such robot journalist on the block, an entire string of such reporters is still far away as scientists add that these intelligent robots will not be replacing human reporters and writers anytime soon.
Such experiments were creating unease among the staff of the state-run media outlets as they might lose their jobs in the long run. At present, robots are unable to conduct face-to-face interviews, cannot respond intuitively with follow-up questions and do not have the ability to select the news angle from an interview or conversation, Xiaojun said.
The scientists added that robots will be act as supplement, helping newspapers and related media, as well as editors and reporters. The team is working alongside the Southern Metropolis Daily to establish a special laboratory to study and develop media robots.