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Algorithms replacing Reporters?

May 23, 2012

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/04/can-an-algorithm-write-a-better-news-story-than-a-human-reporter

As a staff reporter this is not good news. As a publisher of a newspaper, this could be great news. The Five Competitive Forces at work on dismantling the profitability of the newspaper publishing industry might have a new adversary. One of the higher expense items in the industry is payroll. If algorithms can pick up the more mundane reporting responsibilities, lowering the payroll cost this could prove to be a weapon the publishers can use to regain profitability….at least for now.

Longer term, could more of the complex issues be covered by algorithms? Can live and customer centric reporting be leveraged to retain subscribership? I believe it can. And it will require publishers rethinking the entire business model and value chain. Otherwise, maybe some blogger somewhere will have to write the obit on the newspaper industry.

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