Robo-Reporters to Replace Mainstream Journalists?
The mainstream media is now so glib, unquestioning and intellectually castrated that robo-reporters could soon replace real journalists - without anyone noticing.
Computer algorithms are already being used to manufacture news stories about earthquakes and other data-rich issues and this same process could soon be employed for sports games and eventually more complicated news stories - rendering many journalists obsolete.
Human editors would probably still be needed to check stories before publication, but the actual process of writing articles could be handed over completely to artificially intelligent software programs.
The Vancouver Sun reports today that the Los Angeles Times is already using robo-reporters for some of its content, thanks to a computer program developed by the newspaper's digital editor Ken Schwencke.
The article explores the ethical concerns of assigning "routine news tasks" to robo-reporters, which would "lighten the load for everybody involved" according to Schwencke. Alfred Hermida, associate professor at the University of British Columbia, concluded that if the computer algorithm was created by the reporter, the generation of news stories by a robo-reporter would be acceptable.
Given that mainstream media reporters have already proven themselves adept at regurgitating official statements and passing it off as news with no journalistic inquiry whatsoever, one wonders if anyone will really be able to detect if written stories are the work of real people or computer programs.
With many jobs in the unskilled labor market, such as waiters in some Chinese restaurants, now being replaced by robots, it won't be too long before many so-called skilled professions are also supplanted by cyborgs or computer-generated artificial intelligence.
Watch the video above for a full breakdown on how this represents a damning indictment of the increasing irrelevancy of mainstream media.