Robot reporting is coming. What will it mean for professional writers and journalists? It could be a way to free up writers from writing fill-in-the-blank mechanical updates, and to allow them to do more research and reporting.

“If the Times had used an earnings-story robot rather than passing the task to cub reporters, I could have spent my mornings working on stories that required actual human intelligence — profiles, trend pieces, voice-driven analysis. This is exactly why I’m not worried about the coming of the robot-reporters: rather than putting us out of work, it might free us up to do more of the kinds of work we actually like. Robbie Allen, the CEO of Automated Insights and a former Cisco engineer, agrees. “The publishing industry at large is facing lots of challenges with its business model, and new things have to be tried out,” he told me in an interview this week. But he insisted that “new things” doesn’t just mean mass layoffs. “I’m not worried for reporters at all,” he said. “Our technology simulates what a data analyst does. It doesn’t simulate what a reporter does all that well.” (via Why Robot Journalism Is Great for Journalists – NYMag)

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