When an earthquake occured on Monday, The Los Angeles Times was quick on the scene, being the first newspaper to cover the story. But instead of one of the journalists reporting on the disaster, its in-house robot published the story.

Journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke has created an algorithm that can automatically generate an article in the event of an earthquake. He explained that on Monday, it took just three minutes for the story to appear online. It’s no wonder that ‘Robo-Journalism’ is becoming more popular in newsrooms around the world.

robot typing on a keyboard

The Los Angeles Times has pioneered the technology with its robot generating stories about crime as well as earthquakes. There is some human involvement needed though as a human editor has the last decision on which stories take priority.

Mr Schwencke was quick to dispel any rumours that generated stories will replace journalists but explained that rather, these stories allow available data to be quickly gathered and distributed.

“It saves people a lot of time, and for certain types of stories, it gets the information out there in usually about as good a way as anybody else would,” he said.

“The way I see it is, it doesn’t eliminate anybody’s job as much as it makes everybody’s job more interesting.”

[Image via newsana]

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26614051