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Reflections on the Development robot foreign news writers
Release date:2016-07-30        Views:

[Abstract] robot news writers first started in the United States, the real art is applied to the media a few years ago. Application of Artificial Intelligence in the conventional media industry is different robot news writers biggest feature is completely automated news production. In particular news writing process, the main key is not artificial participation news product output and decisive part, news production achieved by the people to change the machine. But with the expansion of application fields, it has created some problems.

The future direction of [keyword] news production automation robot news writers

News writers called Robot (Robot Journalism or Automated Writing), in fact, is an anthropomorphic argument, rather, it is the use of the algorithm input data automatically collected or processed to automatically generate a complete set of computer news story program. Application of Artificial Intelligence in the conventional media industry is different robot news writers biggest feature is completely automated news production. In addition to the technical development early in the process of writing specific news, the news is not involved in manual product output of crucial and decisive aspects, the main news production achieved by the people to change the machine.

Robot news writers in the United States first started as a technology that appears time is not long, the real art is applied to the media a few years ago. This article briefly describes the development process of the foreign news writers robot, including the generation and evolution of technology in the field of media applications and future directions, and share the main issues of foreign academics and media industry at present this technology phenomenon and proposed Thinking.

The Evolution of Technology

Writing reports on the robot first appeared in 2006. From March of that year, the information provider Thomson Financial, the company began to use computer programs to replace financial reporter, automatic writing economic and financial news. Thomson said it Robot reporter extract valid data within 0.3 seconds after the Company may publish information and analysis integrated into a story. At that time, the technology innovation to win amazing while more attracted is a questioning voice. Some industry critics said, "the robot can not find the writing of news stylized Post behind the nuances, of course, can not reveal the deeper meaning behind the data."

Now, writing in the development of the field of automation technology, major competitors include Illinois narrative Sciences Corporation (Narrative Science), North Carolina insight automation company (Automated Insights), and is headquartered in Texas, a European company Yseop. Let narrative sciences companies, for example, look at the evolution of the history of the development of robot technology writers.

In 2009, Northwestern University developed a program called "Stats Monkey" software, the use of this software can automatically grab data from a college baseball game page, and generates a match report within 12 seconds. The following year, the commercial prospects of this software is to explore, two professors at Northwestern University and a former director of the company set up a cooperation network is described science companies.

Soon, narrative science has developed a system called Quill, its first customer is the US Ten Conference. This is a sport as the core of the American University Alliance. From 2010 onwards, the software is the author of "Big Ten" thousands of large and small sports news, it is almost real-time coverage in the game, whether in manuscript or limitation on the number far exceeds the past.

Achievement is amazing, but the problem also arises: news content by the robot automatically written over a single, often a tribute to the winner, the loser criticism. This customer request, wishing to cover more diverse, attention must also focus on the winner of the losers and found performance highlights. Similarly, in the United States reported that Little League tournament, also requires parents try to ignore the reported mistakes and focus on positive information. Thus, designers solve these problems found in software applications were upgraded to make it more complicated to adapt to the needs of the user.

In order to better integrate data into text algorithm, described science company hired a group of "yuan writers" who are trained reporters have their own style of writing and a molding technique. These reporters and engineers together "train" the computer to be able to find a variety of "point of view" from the data, how to organize and teach the computer the article "architecture." In order to form a sentence, the algorithm also comprises a "meta-writers" who summarized the relevant classification reports vocabulary. In addition, the description of the company's scientific team also provides customers with a diverse selection reports tone style, "may be a scream STYLE nervous financial reporter sent from the trading floor, it can be pedantic pedant lecture type style".

After several years of development, the company's technology has been described in the scientific and more powerful upgrade. March 2014, the company released Quill Engage platform is Google Analytics (Google Analytics) applications. This is a well-known Internet statistics company Google services for a variety of site owners to offer. This application functionality is very powerful, as long as the page on the target site added a piece of code, you can provide a wealth of detailed and concise chart style report. It shows people how to find and browse a Web site, and site owners how to improve the visitor experience, improve website ROI, how to make more money online. It can track visitors through your site, and will keep track of marketing advertising effect, make the site managers to understand, which keywords are really working, which ad text is the most effective, and where your visitors exit the conversion process, etc. Wait. In short, this is a comprehensive analysis package, and its main function is described by the company's scientific writing automation platform completed.

Media applications typical case

Currently, the news media in the traditional sense, the robots are mainly used in the stylized writers also reported in the field based on data, such as company annual reports, stock market newsletter, earthquake coverage, sports reports. For example, the "Forbes" magazine has already begun large-scale use of narrative science writing program's automatic, and specifically on the website set up by this program generated news pages; Russian search engine Yandex robot applications written weather and traffic reports; France "Le Monde" Syllabs cooperation with companies in the 2015 election campaign, the robot writers reported thousands of real-time around the elections. Of course, the news media application robot writers best known, but also the number of the Associated Press and the "Los Angeles Times."

July 2014, the Associated Press announced that they will use automated insight into the company's platform for writing software Wordsmith, automatic writing about company earnings news. The Associated Press published every quarter about 300 such news, previously reported in this type of manual is very time consuming, but in the face of reporters and editors are a bunch of numbers, mistakes are often difficult to avoid. In contrast, Wordsmith per platform can produce up to 2000 such news, and the error rate is very low. In October, the company announced an insight automation case studies detailing how this platform is to assist each quarter written 4300 Associated Press reported. This figure is the Associated Press before using the robot automatically writing such reports 14 times the amount of manual press.

? AP editor Lou Ferrara feelings about the use of robots writer said: "In the earnings season, we should be doing is more creative ways to use our energy and time, rather than spend a lot of time Posted in earnings and write an overview on. we'll put all uS companies earnings are robot to write. "she also said," any data-driven areas, such as export polls, weather and so on, we are going to use this system. "

Associated Press is different, "Los Angeles Times" news mainly in the earthquake areas and crime news application "robot writers." March 18, 2014, 4.1 earthquake occurred in California, "Los Angeles Times" by Quakebot generation system, after receiving the USGS earthquake information issued by the computer to automatically enter data and submit the template editing system, in three minutes released the first report in the earthquake.

"Los Angeles Times" robot crime writers in the field of information applications more features. Since 2007, the Los Angeles Times website has opened up a special record "killings" blog, the original intention was "trying to record every event in the region together with the murder occurred." However, it is contemplated, it is almost impossible task in the case of human-based. Fortunately, in 2010 the robot writers took over the job. Robot writers reported only new event, further back in history to make up a few years before missing the event. From 2014 to set up seven years, the blog issued a total of more than 5,000 reported killings, a detailed record of the victim's race, gender, cause of death, find locations and other information, and the vast majority of which were reported by the robot writer automatically.

Future direction

Robot news writers appear far less than a decade, really began to take shape and be put into practice only a short period of three or four years. We can say that this application is still in the initial stage, as well as future possibilities, perhaps far more than we ever imagined. At present, however, there are several obvious trends:

First, the robot share news writers occupy the entire news reports will increase. In this regard, no one should doubt. Narrative Science's creator Christian? Hammond had predicted, the news will eventually be dominated by robots writers News, will share "more than 90%." However, this proportion is derived writers robot news itself has created a huge number of former traditional news reporters are never reported in the field covered as a precondition. That is, on the one hand, due to the writers of the robot added, the total number of news to achieve a geometrically growth; on the other hand, the future of our world and our lives will become increasingly digitized, more and more data will be production and flow on the Internet, and thus automation writing news generated greater demand.

Secondly, the increasing quality and breakthrough data news mode confinement. We all know, the robot news writers mainly limited to statistical reports based model, but technology developers for their products have higher expectations. They said the next goal is to make the robot technology upgrade news writers get rid of now marginalized status, read those non-data information can not include tables and space to write longer, more complex content of news reports, "even in Pulitzer Prize "within 20 years or less.

Again, open up more coverage areas, to achieve a more widely used. From the beginning of the emergence of technology, automation writing involved in the field continues to expand, from the initial sports reports, financial reports, and gradually extended to natural disasters reported crime reports, and then will further include health counseling, many segments of the survey reports. In addition to journalism, writing automation future should be more widely used in the commercial sector, as mentioned earlier Google analytical applications, as well as the production of any other commercial analysis report, this trend has appeared. In addition, the social networking site, this application also has much to offer the program to learn how to use the "virus element" to write articles, such as using certain words or sentence structure, so that the article can cause widespread viral on social media.

Finally, more personalized for individual users. October 20 this year, the company released a Wordsmith insight automation platform for the public version, individuals can register the beta, the official version is expected to be launched in January next year. This application helps users to organize personal text, once the user has a template, and then need to do is to update the data, the robot will automatically help writers user-generated articles. The company CEO Robbie? Allen said robot writers do not have to face the public, it is more like a personal data processing specialists, for each client, it generates perhaps only this one person reading the article. The future, as long as conditions allow, everyone can have their own robot writers.

Problems and Thoughts

Robot writer is a revolutionary new thing in surprise, but also caused a lot of problems and thinking.

First, from a macro perspective, the media industry, the robot writers what does that mean? At one time, there are some media practitioners of this form of coverage scoff that it was too immobilized, pattern, referred to as "News" is "press" the concept demeaning and misunderstandings. However, there are some who hold the opposite view that this technology is the promotion and development of journalism. After I tend to the view that the writers of the robot main significance is positive, it can promote the expansion and deepening of journalism. On the one hand, it appears that the news coverage of areas not covered by traditional journalism or inability to cover, greatly expand the application of spatial information products; on the other hand, its liberation of manual labor reporter, so that the latter can concentrate News in digging deeper analysis and critical thinking, to deepen the overall journalism to create the conditions.

However, journalists are concerned, the crisis is obvious. "Quick, unplug the power that robot!" This joke to say the traditional news people's anxiety: the robot will take away reporters and editors do their jobs? At least for now, the answer is no. Although the robot reporter greatly exceeded the limitations of artificial reporter's work, whether in news or limitation on the quantity produced, we have reached a degree of human can not reach. However, the writers and the robot in the strict sense "real reporters" there is still a wide gap between human creativity and mobility advantages on the machine is still unmatched and irreplaceable. Man and machine is not competition, but the division of labor relations. Of course, this change to the journalists who have put forward higher standards and requirements.

In addition, the robot news writers in journalism ethics level for us a lot of new issues. The system automatically fetch data information is credible authority? Will someone for the possibility of manipulation? These data, news organizations has been granted the right to use and distribution rights in the law? What topic there could be political or social bias in the input data in? Robot News writers will write news with people there is not a unity of style and does not fall into the same set of reports? If a robot writing news articles, which facts or logic challenged readers, others can give a convincing explanation? Even if a machine error rate is very low, but the probability is there, that they who should supervise the machine, its output reports were verified? If the robot for multimedia, the image is automatically generated and sent reports, video reports are limited to ensure that in the context of the law? All of these issues will continue to progress with this technology and gradually emerge, of course, may also get an answer in Artificial Intelligence and the media more and more perfect fusion.

In the near future, the news industry may also like manufacturing industries, appears divided by the person to complete the "hand-made" products and by the robot to complete the "assembly line" products. Or perhaps, as the technology continues to mature, it might be impossible to tell the difference robot who write news and writing news, or already accepted or habits of the former, and that this distinction is meaningless. The industrial revolution of the machine instead of the human, then there will be such journalism day? Unstoppable tide of technological innovation, we can only keep up with the pace of change, embrace change.

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