Will Robots Take Over Local TV?


By Kevin Eck, TV Spy @Mediabistro.com July 11, 2014


While robots have already replaced studio camera operators at some local TV stations, it isn’t hard to imagine local stations adopting the latest technology, robotic journalists.

The AP is already using a program called Automated Insights to write business news faster than humans. USA Today reports the AP outputs out about 300 earnings stories per quarter. The new software is supposed to be able to pump out up to 4,400 stories in the same time frame.

The Huffington Post asks are human journalists screwed?

In June, Japan took the idea of robot journalism to the next level when it created the very first robot news anchor: an android that could arguably read news stories better than humans.

It’s not hard to imagine then that there would be some speculation and fear about robots coming into the newsroom practice and taking over the industry. Journalism has been named one of nine professions that humans will eventually lose to robots. The Examiner wrote that AP’s Automated Insights “will replace human journalists this month.” “Computers could soon replace Australian journalists,” the Australian also reported.

But maybe journalists shouldn’t be so afraid after all.

[New York Magazine’s Kevin] Roose, for one, is an optimist. He argued that the robot-generated stories still lack in talent and creativity, skills that only humans can bring to the writing and editing process. He said that no robot, at this point, can contextualize, piece together, and create “original, evidence-based conclusions” like humans can.

“Not only am I not scared of losing my job to a piece of software, I think the introduction of automated reporting is the best thing to happen to journalists in a long time,” he wrote, adding that robots can deal with the “miserable” and “excruciatingly dull” stories that “humans hate writing anyway.”




  1. Anybody watching Seattle newscast would quickly realize that the majority of presenters are not human. They appear to be either aliens or mechanical facsimilies of real humans. It’s very scary.

  2. I always suspected Tony Parsons was at least part robot… great presenter, but never seemed to open his mouth…. hmmmm.


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