Xiaomingbot, a bot programmed to write news, provided the Toutiao website with about 40 articles per day during the celebration of the Olympic Games. The quality was good, but users demand less robotization of the text.
Artificial intelligence, or simply dedicated software, has long been used to cover financial news. The reason is simple: only certain figures change from time to time in sections such as income, profits, average selling price, etc.Going further, we have seen how using artificial intelligence you can also write novels that compete in contests. In this sense, the Olympic Games in Rio leave us the news that a bot has written 450 articles during the 15 days of the event.
For some time now, it has been felt in the industry that the time to replace journalists with bots is near, and budget cuts help speed up this process. It is clear that there are news, chronicles and profiles that a machine is far from able to coverbut, as long as there are patterns, there can be automation.
With this in mind, Chinese search engine Toutiao began using the Xiaomingbot bot developed jointly with Peking University. The result has been to get between 30 and 40 articles per day, written thanks to the real-time data offered by the Games database. The length of these articles used to be about 100 words, necessary to report on sports finals and medal winners. However, he wrote one of 821 words.
The end of this picture is near.
As for the quality of the news, it is considered that in general it was good, although they were not without flaws. Despite being well written, many users found the generated news to be very robotic, by offering only quantitative data such as the duration of the events, the leaderboards, the attendance or the place occupied in the ranking by the different players.
The Washington Post opted for similar software, but it was not as powerful and its use was more a test than a replacement for the work of reporters. Xiaomingbot has made those responsible trust him, although he has always been given the authorship of the work so that it was understood that there was no human behind it.