More On Computer-Authored Journalism

Many of the news articles you read are actually auto generated by artificial intelligence programs. In fact, robot- authored articles are slated to hit 1 billion. So the odds are you have actually have read one.

Here is an excerpt from the article “You’ll Be Sorry When the Robot Journalists Take Over.”

“Algorithms may be good at crunching numbers and putting them in some kind of context, but journalists are good at noticing things no one else has. They’re good at asking annoying questions. They’re nosy and persistent and willing to challenge authority to dig out a story. They’re good at provoking irritation, devastation, laughter or controversy.”

We at Alkek Library add that the problem with this is that robo-programs have to have finite numbers of rules built into the programming. They are unable to react changes or nuances in perception, values or new situations. The odds are pretty high the machines will miss something.

The Washington Post and the Guardian Win Pulitzer for NSA Revelations

Official announcement here  The Washington Post And The Guardian won the Pulitzer prize for their coverage of Edward Snowden’s revelation of widespread NSA domestic surveillance.

From The Washington Post:

“The awards to The Post and Guardian for their NSA reporting are likely to generate debate, much like the Pulitzer board’s decision to award it public service medal to the New York Times in 1972 for its disclosures of the Pentagon Papers, a secret government history of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

In both the NSA and Pentagon Papers stories, the reporting was based on leaks of secret documents by government contractors. Both Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg — who leaked the Pentagon Papers to Times’ reporter Neil Sheehan — were called traitors for their actions. And both the leakers and the news organizations that published stories were accused by critics, including members of Congress, for enabling espionage and harming national security.

But Post executive editor Martin Baron said Monday the reporting exposed a national policy “with profound implications for American citizens’ constitutional rights” and the rights of individuals around the world.”

The journalism section of the library is a really fascinating place!