This frightening piece by Slate talks about the new technology of computer generated journalistic content. Most of these writing “robots” are creating simple articles for sports, finance, and real estate but they may expand to cover other formulaic news pieces. Who’s to say the next city council meeting or election won’t be covered by a robot? It would be easy enough with the advancement of Google technology, translators, statistics, and software that’s getting increasingly better at writing readable stories.
It’s eery to see robots taking journalism jobs at the same time the industry is struggling. But this Orwellian technology has become a reality. The truth is we will soon be competing against this technology for our livelihoods. Who will report the next Watergate better-humans or robots?
This technology is hailed for being very objective and factual (more than a human could be?). But will this technology be capable of investigative reporting in the future? The question now is not when this will happen (it has begun) but how far this will reach and how many publications will employ these writing robots. Are independent bloggers above this kind of technology? In ten years we might not even have to ask this, it might already be too late and Glenn Greewald will be replaced with Glenn Greenbot.