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Robotic news writers are faster, but not necessarily better

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Robotic news editors promise to save the trouble of picking and writing news stories (and might put people like me out of work), but are they really ready to replace human writers? Yes and no, if you ask NPR. The outlet held a showdown between Automated Insights' WordSmith news generator and a seasoned reporter to see which of the two could not only finish an earnings story the quickest, but produce something you'd want to read. The results? WordSmith was much faster, producing its piece in two minutes versus seven, but the writing was more than a little stiff -- it lacked the colorful expressions that made NPR's version easy to digest. With that said, newsies might not want to relax just yet. It's technically possible for software to adapt to a given style, so flesh-and-bone writers may still want to update their resumés... y'know, just in case.

[Image credit: Justin Cook, NPR]

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