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Artificial intelligence in journalism: "Robots are not human substitutes"

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 | Gadgets

If someone is familiar with robot journals, then Retresco. Founded in 2008 in Berlin, the company specializes in the automated utilization of content and data. How companies and publishers can intelligently exploit content with automatically generated texts will be able to see visitors of the HORIZONT-Dmexco stand C011 in Hall 9 next Wednesday at 1 pm. Retresco founder Alexander Siebert will give a lecture. HORIZONT Online spoke with co-CEO Johannes Sommer about the dangers and potentials of robot journalism.

          Mr. Sommer, in what formats are robotjournalists currently finding employment? For example, in the case of weather and stock exchange reports, as well as in football – and also in other sports, I consider the principle to be useful. It works wherever structural data are present in a large quantity and where data journalism is operated. Thus, theoretically, reports on election results or the presentation of television programs are also possible. The often cited police files, on the other hand, are rather poorly automatic because of the data situation.
          
    
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      How does the machine actually work with existing data? The software is able to generate texts from all structured data, regardless of subject matter. This is done on the basis of linguistic, syntactic and semantic rules. Our Textsgine looks at a data point and is then able to make a statement about this, which was previously defined by the rules. A 0: 5 in football, for example, allows for different interpretations: either it was a real disgrace – or a team still relatively well. To make a correct statement makes the intelligence of the machine off. But all the software can textually, linguists and editors have to teach them before. Is robotic journalism still artificial intelligence? The answer I could make simple: The automatic copywriting, the Natural Language Generation, is per se a discipline of the artificial intelligence. Intelligence does not necessarily exist at the moment as a machine learns its abilities. Instead, she decides when and when she can use something. Machine learning also works for the software, but only if there is a very large number of structured data and texts based on it. Because language is very complex and not easy to train, automatic learning has only happened in about 10 to 15 percent of the cases. Digital marketing in focus Now every week intensified in HORIZONT Print! Interest? Then best to use our current test-read offer with digital marketing focus. Here's the order. So an editor does not have to worry about his job? No. There are certainly greater threats to the journalist's profession as automated text generation. For example, the fact that digital business models do not work and that real estate spreads and advertising breaks away. The robot journalism in itself will not help journalism go badly. I do not want the plattform to make journalists so have more time to do other things. Reports and the interesting stories on the edge will always tell human clerks. But: Game reports, automatically generated with the final whistle, are an added value – and this measures itself in profitability and success factors such as clicks, range or the place in search engineranking. Then robotic journalism can be a real opportunity for publishers and editors, assuming the wise use. And is not a substitute for humans. Since 2014, when you have launched the first case, already in the digital worlds have already passed. Where will robot journalism be in three years? There will be much more data-driven information and thus also more cases. We will see a larger proportion of automatically generated texts in all areas. And I believe that the technology in the publishing houses is seen much less critically than is still current – that was the change over the last three years. In the beginning, we had to evangelize above all, today we are talking more strongly about opportunities and other areas of application with our partners. fam

          
           

          
          
                
                    
          
            
                

                
        

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