The latest from the bleeding edge of robots taking our jobs comes straight outta China, where the South China Morning Post reports that a journalist algorithm churned out a 1,000-word financial story in one skinny minute. The details on August’s Chinese consumer price index, according to the Morning Post, could have been featured on Beyonce’s fifth studio album because that shit was “flawless.” Or “very readable.” Or at least had “few problems.” Any way you slice it, this bot-take was enough to send “local reporters scurrying to the bathroom,” because they were sad (?) or it was time for the late-morning toilet-nap all hungover journalists are required to take.
Robo-journalists, on paper, seem to have all the perks of a reliable stenographer without the shitty Beyonce puns, crippling J-school loan debt, or alcoholism. And although it might not have much in the way of crafting a moving narrative structure or investigative reportage or using quotes, the software does get kickass names like DreamWriter. Beyond that, the only thing that separates a robot journalist and a human journalist in 2015 is the ability to throw in a GIF or make a weird pop culture reference. Oh, hey, check out this otter sitting up like people and eating snacks out of a dog bowl:
That’s what I thought, C-3PO. Go back to explaining the Chinese economy or whatever.