Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Robo-journalism gains traction in shifting media world

AFP, WASHINGTON

One advantage of using algorithmically generated stories is that they can also be “personalized,” or delivered to the relevant localities, which can be useful for elections and sports coverage.

While news professionals acknowledge the limits of computer programs, they also say that automated systems can sometimes accomplish things humans cannot.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution used a data journalism team to uncover 450 cases of doctors who were brought before medical regulators or courts for sexual misconduct, finding that nearly half remained licensed to practice medicine.

The newspaper used machine learning, an artificial intelligence tool, to analyze each case and assign a “probability rating” on sexual misconduct, which was then reviewed by a team of journalists.

Studies appear to indicate consumers accept computer-generated stories, which are mostly labeled as such.

A report prepared by researcher Andreas Graefe for Columbia University’s Tow Center said that one study of Dutch readers found that the label of computer-generated “had no effect on people’s perceptions of quality.”

A second study of German readers, Graefe said, found that “automated articles were rated as more credible,” although human-written news scored higher for “readability.”

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