AP’s robot-written stories have arrived

AP earnings-report stories written with automation technology have begun to appear. Earnings reports for Hasbro Inc., Honeywell International Inc. and GE, among others, bear the legend “This story was generated automatically by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research.”

AP announced at the end of June that it would start using the technology to produce significantly more earnings report stories.

Reached by phone, AP Managing Editor Lou Ferrara said the stories began to appear around the middle of July, and all the ones you’re seeing right now have been checked by human eyes, as was the plan. “The tap isn’t fully open yet,” he said. Some stories were published just as Automated Insights filed them, others have had a few “bugs here and there,” Ferrara said.

What I’m trying to get out of is the data processing business,” Ferrara told Poynter earlier this month. “I can’t have journalists spending a ton of time data processing stuff. Instead I need them reporting.”

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