Around the world future

The downfall of human journalism? Swedish Robots are now writing some of our articles

 
 

THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY.
We have written a number of articles regarding jobs in the future and AI taking a step ahead of humans in various occupations – occupations that you would expect AI replacement. However, now we’re reaching into an area that people assumed would never be replaceable and would forever need the creative thoughts, engagement and “human factor” in order to do. Turns out we might have been wrong to some degree, and human journalism may slowly creep its way out of existence, too. but to what extent? What’s interesting is that there is a company in Sweden that has been contributing to this shift with the help of their own algorithms and analyses. Will you be reading Evolvera some time in the future? Let’s investigate (in an unbiased manner), because we all want recognition and to continue the battle of natural selection – let the fittest in this battle survive . . . 
 
One small step leading to something bigger? Without resorting to hyperbolic predictions or exaggerated extrapolations of predictions based on the following facts, let us outline the reality that currently exists in Sweden and elsewhere, and the reality that is the job of a tech company based in the country that produces algorithms that create 2000 articles a day for Swedish newspapers and sites. You may have already read about the company as it was mentioned in a New York Times article from 2017 titled The Robots Are Coming, And Sweden is Fine. It had a very optimistic mention about the founder, Soren Karlsson, that left his job to start the new company. Back then, he commenced by developing a robot capable of producing sports and news stories. Today, the company has come a long way from its first robot named Rosalinda and the algorithms have gotten more advanced but still lack that personal touch. He stated that the stories that robots produce are not as “colorful as humans would write” [Source: New York Times].

 

A world of algorithms, numbers and automation. . .

The magic happens in the third largest city in Sweden – Malmö. At the United Robots HQ,  developers and linguists work together to create those specialized algorithms that analyze information from databases and produce text. We know that humans and automated robots are different, but in their job, there is something that unites them: They find news angles, connections and things that stand out, just as a reporter would do. The question that we, at Evolvera, wanted to find the answer to was the effect that they have with their activities. We found the answer, and well. . . it’s an uncomfortable truth that we have to face. According to Soren Karlsson, it has made a lot of freelancers unemployed:

“I think we have made some freelancers unemployed, those who have been living sitting and calling matches. Calling a sports arena and asking how it went, who did the goals, what it was half time and then writing it down and submitting it to a newspaper. As low a level of journalism, I do not think the newspapers can afford to have educated journalists in the future. For that we can do much better, faster and cheaper”, says Soren Karlsson.

 

United Robots and their algorithms create articles for, among other things, local newspapers on Mittmedia and for Aftonbladet (one of the largest evening newspapers in Sweden), which is owned by Norwegian Schibsted. It uses the most advanced robot that creates summaries for Sportbladet (the sports section of Aftonbladet), and soon they will also start publishing robot-generated articles in Norwegian in the magazine Verdens gang. However, there are more countries that are ready to take part up the Swedish technology, says Sören Karlsson.

While he answered the question about freelancers being affected, he does not believe that his company poses a threat to the journalists’ labor market, but believes that the robot texts are doing the type of  journalism that would not have been done at all without algorithms. However, here we have to step in regarding his comment and look at the advancements in technology that have been taking place. This is a single company, but what will happen when fierce competition starts and the algorithms become “human” in its results? Soren Karlsson does mention this in SvT: “The data sets will continue to grow. The algorithms will continue to be better and better, the force of data will be bigger and bigger. We have none of the megatrends against us”, says Sören Karlsson.

We can only stand on the sidelines and watch as these developments continue, but until a day when such a thing happens, we’ll be here to bring you new updates about tech and beyond. As we mention in our motto, we are always changing, always evolving. Perhaps our future authors will be complex algorithms that you prefer over other algorithms but we do not say adieu just yet. . .

Evolvera – evolve in a new era
 
 

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