When will we see a ChinaDaily with all articles written by the same author ‘Dreamwriter’? Though many journalists still walk around with pen and paper, many hours are spend on a typewrite and more recently on a computer. But with that last step they might have signed their own death warrant, as computers and its artificial intelligence could take over completely in the future.
Artificial intelligence (AI), reasoning systems or more specifically natural language processing (NLP) and generation (NLG) are topics in many (over)hyped business plans. But just because it’s hyped doesn’t mean it will not happen. Often quite the opposite. People put money and effort in hypes; and concentration and perseverance generates results, also in China. Chinese social media giant Tencent published its first business report written by a robot. The 916-word article was released on the company’s portal QQ.com.
“The piece is very readable. I can’t even tell it wasn’t written by a person,” said Li Wei, a Shenzhen-based reporter.
It was written in Chinese and completed in just one minute by a robot journalist called ‘Dreamwriter’. The AI-journalist designed by Tencent apparently has few problems covering basic financial news.
Rest of the world
Outside of China there are already more companies working on AI-journalists for a while. But the fact that this practice is now being adapted to Chinese-language reports, and adopted by one of the country’s most influential internet giants, is interesting to say the least. In our view this step is a strong indicator that a new era is coming for companies that produce news and similar content.