Robots Make Another Victim: Sport Journalists


Tue, Apr 26th, 2011 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

We mentioned back in January how stock market traders are being replaced by computers, machines capable of reading every single Dow Jones news item and using that information to buy and sell stock -- all in real time.

Well, now sport journalists are next on the unemployment line. According to this article in The Next Web, the creators of news-writing software Narrative Science decided to see if its software could write a better account of a sports game than a human. It turns out that yes, it could. Here's an example:

"Tuesday was a great day for W. Roberts, as the junior pitcher threw a perfect game to carry Virginia to a 2-0 victory over George Washington at Davenport Field.

Twenty-seven Colonials came to the plate and the Virginia pitcher vanquished them all, pitching a perfect game. He struck out 10 batters while recording his momentous feat. Roberts got Ryan Thomas to ground out for the final out of the game.

Tom Gately came up short on the rubber for the Colonials, recording a loss. He went three innings, walked two, struck out one, and allowed two runs.

The Cavaliers went up for good in the fourth, scoring two runs on a fielder's choice and a balk."

It's great that machines will be doing all the hard work that was once done by humans -- even if the sampled text seems to be suffering from both dullness and a lack of personality. My fear is that rather than create an utopian society where we can dedicate ourselves to work on personal realization, that we'll all simply be unemployed, unable to purchase the very products created by our robotic masters.



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