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By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, In Cyber Defense
Last week, The New York Times ran a story called “The Rise of the Robot Reporter.” The article discussed how major news organizations are increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI) software in the creation of their stories. Bloomberg, the Associated Press, the Washington Post and Forbes were among the companies mentioned in the article.
NY Times reporter Jaclyn Peiser noted that the intent behind this software was not to replace humans, but to take over mundane jobs such as transcribing interviews or identifying fake images. That would free human reporters to concentrate on other work.
Peiser quoted Lisa Gibbs, AP’s director of news partnerships: “The work of journalism is creative, it’s about curiosity, it’s about storytelling, it’s about digging and holding governments accountable, it’s critical thinking, it’s judgment — and that is where we want our journalists spending their energy.”
AI Software Definitely Taking a Greater Role in Today’s Writing
The use of artificial intelligence software is becoming increasingly intertwined with today’s writing. Academic papers, for instance, can be checked for plagiarism through Turnitin. Similarly, attention-grabbing headlines may be generated through sites such as SEOPressor or CoSchedule and bots create tweets on Twitter.
Now, storytellers definitely need to be mindful of search engine software; writing for the Web requires a knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) for one’s work to rank high on a search engine results page. Search engines such as Google and Bing use highly sophisticated software to meticulously examine and judge online content, then determine where to rank it on their search engine results pages. Ideally, that content should be on the first page of search engine results, since 75% of users do not scroll past the first page.
Cumulations Technologies director Madhu Swamy notes that AI software is useful for certain writing tasks. In a CustomerThink article, Swamy observes that AI software is handy for routine tasks such as proofreading, checking plagiarism, assessing content readability and scanning articles for key points.
Artificial Intelligence Still Has a Long Way to Go before It Takes Over Your Writing
But can artificial intelligence completely replace human writers? It’s technically possible but unlikely in the near future.
Artificial intelligence software is only as good as its programmers. For the foreseeable future, AI software will be a useful partner, but needs more work to progress to where its writing would be completely indistinguishable from that of a human writer.