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Robot Journalist In China Makes Debut; Writes 300-Character Article In 1 Second

By Anne Dominguez , Jan 19, 2017 12:03 PM EST
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A new robot in China can give reporters a run for their money. Xiao Nan, a robot journalist can write a 300-character article in a godly speed of only one second. The robot published its very first article on Wednesday, Jan. 18, on a daily tabloid newspaper in Guangzhou City, China called Southern Metropolis Daily.

It is not the first time that an artificial intelligence is used in the newsroom. Previously, one of the words leading news provider, the Associated Press used an automated reporting platform to generate articles on quarterly earnings and college sports. The news agency also hired as an automation editor in 2015.

The robot was invented by a team of researchers headed by Wan Xiaojun, a professor at Peking University. Wan Xiaojun said the robot journalist can write a variation of long and short articles. The robot is causing unease in state-run Chinese media outlets in fear of losing their jobs. Xiao Nan is better in data analysis than humans, however, it does not mean that it can overtake human reporters.

"When compared with the staff reporters, Xiao Nan has a stronger data analysis capacity and is quicker at writing stories," Wan said according to the Pune Mirror. "But it does not mean intelligent robots will soon be able to completely replace reporters," he added.

Currently, Xiao Nan robot cannot do some functions of a reporter. It is unable to conduct face to face interviews. It also cannot respond spontaneously with follow-up questions and cannot choose news angles based on interviews according to WION.

Wan said robots can now only act as supplement, helping newspapers and other media-related industries as well as editors and reporters. He added that he is working with Southern Metropolis Daily to create a laboratory focusing on building media robots. Xiao Nan's debut article in Southern Metropolis Daily as a robot journalist was about the travel rush due to the Spring Festival.

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