One might say much of the corporate dreck published on Forbes is already written by soulless robots, but now we can mean it literally. Digiday:
Over the summer, the business publisher, which just had its most profitable year in more than a decade, rolled out a new CMS, called Bertie, which recommends article topics for contributors based on their previous output, headlines based on the sentiment of their pieces and images too. It’s also testing a tool that writes rough versions of articles that contributors can simply polish up, rather than having to write a full story from scratch.
Through obsessive monitoring stats, A/B headlines testing and tracking of social media, this process has long been in the works for all newsrooms. It was only a matter of time until someone automated the actual writing too.
The optimist in me says: get the low-hanging fruit done by a robot, and leave people to do real journalism – and there are certainly some excellent reporters on the books at Forbes.
But the realist thinks: it’s the low-hanging fruit that often brings in the most traffic and makes the most money, so publishers might just rethink having those pesky expensive humans at all.