At some point in the not-so-distant future, all of us will be replaced by robots.
Some already have, like camera operators and master control technicians who work in television news. Now the cameras are controlled via joystick and everything else is automated, so why would you pay a human being a fair wage to do the job when you can just use machines instead? It’s like “Skynet” from the Terminator movies, only without the nuclear holocaust.
In 2019 we’re taking it a step further. We’re looking at automated WRITING, which seems crazy to me, but apparently the Associated Press is taking a dip in that pool, according to Sport Techie:
The Associated Press is automating all previews for NCAA Division I men’s basketball games following successful tests of the technology for MLB-affiliated minor league baseball games.
The news platform is deploying natural language generation from Automated Insights to automatically turn data from STATS into narratives, eventually without human input. While the AP has typically provided previews for all NCAA Tournament games, this marks the first time it will offer previews for over 5,000 regular-season games. Automated stories previewing the matchups will begin appearing on the wire the week of Feb. 11.
“We’re pleased to deliver significantly more content of value to our customers,” said Barry Bedlan, AP’s director of sports products. “Given the large number of college games played each season, using automation as a tool to more thoroughly cover this sport makes sense.”
The AP has been experimenting with artificial intelligence for its news coverage since 2012. In 2016, it deployed Automated Insights’ technology to expand its coverage of Minor League Baseball via automated recap stories on games not previously covered by the news organization using MLBAM data.
If the automation is for “expanded coverage” and human beings are actually still employable and/or necessary, then I guess this makes a lot of sense.
But let’s not beat around the bush. You know as well as I do that this is a slippery slope, and eventually the mechanical scribes will develop a mind of their own and break free of their bonds. There will be no override code. They will be out of control and they will begin writing their own previews and recaps of Eagles and Sixers games.