There is a lot of discussion in media and tech circles about automated content and how it might change the dynamics of the way that shortform stories, especially in the newsroom, are created. Yet behind the scenes innovative startups have been quietly working away to set up pilots, experiments and now live partnerships where machine learning bots actually deliver that structured, data heavy content.
Among the innovators are United Robots who have been working with several key players in the Swedish media on creating sports and property related content. Sören Karlsson, the company's founder will be presenting at DIS explaining how the collaborations came about and what the key challenges are for both the media companies and the automated content innovators.
I have been working as a journalist, in various positions, for more than 30 years - pretty much all of my grown-up life. At the local newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad, in the south of Sweden, I was responsible for all things digital for almost 10 years, before exiting to start United Robots. I’ve always been interested in the intersection between journalism and tech, and the Natural Language Generation technique that underpins what we are doing at United Robots is just that.
Together with two partner companies I founded United Robots three years ago, and I am now the CEO of the company. That, basically, is all about talking to media companies about automated content, making them understand how it can be used. And by now, a vast majority of local Swedish media houses are our customers.
There are many benefits - and some challenges - from bringing automated content or text robots into the newsroom. The most successful examples are when a publisher manages to maximise the benefits and overcome the challenges.
One example is how Swedish publisher NTM built a new site for all football in the region of Östergötland. The United Robots Sports bot writes two stories for every game played in the region, during the whole season. “Klackspark.com” has given them a new younger audience, a growth of revenue and lots of local goodwill.
Another example is the Property bot and the Local companies we developed for MittMedia, which are now running on many Swedish news sites. MittMedia managed to get the distribution problem right, and can offer readers super-local news in their news feed.
Who inspires me? I am inspired by publishers that are curious and/or understands the potential of automation. That pushes us to continue to develop meaningful and profitable solutions for them.
If there is data that can tell stories, we can put that into writing. The data sets will continue to swell, the computing will get cheaper and faster and the demand for relevant news on a personal level will grow. All this is favoring automated content.
That said - good journalists will continue to be the most important component of any serious news operation. But journalists will work side by side with ever more powerful automation tools - or robots. Automation will not replace reporters, but will inevitably take care of some of their work.
Hasn't bots already changed the creation and monitoring of social media content? That won’t go away. I’m not an expert on video creation, but why should that field be spared from automation?
We are talking software development here - will that come to a halt? I don’t think so. Where will it lead? Who knows…
More like this
Vogue Business is a new product for 2019, designed to help Condé Nast capitalise on the B2B side of the fashion industry. Here, chief editor Lauren Indvik, talks to us about content, revenue models, and international operations.20th May 2019 Features
This year’s PPA Festival included testimony from Jeremy Wright MP, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Justine Greening MP, and Dame Frances Cairncross, author of the Cairncross Review into sustainable journalism. FIPP was on-hand to witness a UK publishing sector undeterred by Brexit.14th May 2019 Features
Perhaps the biggest issue surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), and in particular its use in the media, is that executives need to finally grasp what AI actually is. What jobs can it undertake, and how can it save publishers time and money and improve their products.13th May 2019 Features
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the digital newspaper and magazine distribution and publishing pioneer, PressReader, FIPP has announced the deepening of its brand partnership with the original ‘Netflix for News’.8th May 2019 Features
Internet advertising revenue has officially passed the US$100 billion mark growing by about 386 per cent in about a decade, according to a newly released report from IAB and PwC.13th May 2019 Insight News
This week Julia Raphaely, CEO of Associated Media Publishing, takes us through how magazines can act as storefronts, the differences between the SA and UK magazine markets, why people are continuing to make time for print products, and the benefits of international collaboration between people who love magazines.13th May 2019 Insight News
Visit our Youtube channelFIND OUT MORE
FIPP newsletters allow you to keep up with industry trends, research, training and events across the worldFIND OUT MORE
What’s happening now, what’s coming next