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Artificial intelligence takes over news writing


11-15-2016 06:55 BJT

You may find it hard to believe, but this year, a number of news articles you might have read weren't written by humans, but by artificial intelligence.  China's IT giant Tencent said on Monday that since January, a total of 70,000 articles on its news platforms had been automatically generated by a computer program called 'Dream Writer'.  Most of the AI-generated news focused on economic data and sporting results.

But, scientists say while AI is taking over some news writing duties, it doesn't mean news writing robots will replace professional journalists.

"The AI does news gathering and writing in two stages. First, the computer reads a huge amount of news materials and data from, say, a football game, and sorts out the key information according to a pre-set model, like who wins and how many goals. Then it moves on to the second stage: output. The program expresses the information into a natural stream of words. It can even write the same news from different angles or interest to fit the taste of different readers, like officials, businessmen, students or children," Yang Qiang, director of Compute Science Dept., Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, said.

"They are not doing the same thing the journalist does... These are not jobs that a computer program can easily do," Dr. Jerry Kaplan, author of "A Silicon Valley Adventure", said.


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