April 8, 2014


An algorithmic journalism machine will debut at Milan Design Week on Wednesday, creating articles and a printed product from live speeches and social media streams, including Twitter and Instagram, according to a story on Tuesday from Dezeen, a design and architecture magazine. That algorithm, Fear Of Missing Out, or FOMO, combines voice recognition software with social media.

“Inspired by the idea – as Bruce Sterling said – that ‘events are the new magazines’, FOMO asks whether there is a remedy for the syndrome of missing out,” said Space Caviar co-founder Joseph Grima. “Can the seemingly dead medium of print publishing adapt to the electronic age’s demand for instant gratification by embracing the speed of Twitter streams, Storify and various other social media?”


After the machine composes a PDF of the tweet/Instagram/speech articles, it will grind out a printed copy that readers can pick up from the FOMObile.

“FOMO is a commentary on the ever-accelerating automation of many professions, including journalism,” said Grima. “It tests the conceptual boundaries of publishing technology, questioning what the systemic and aesthetic consequences of a future of automated everything will be.”

Robot journalism is a fun/scary topic these days. In March, Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon wrote about the L.A. Times’ Quakebot, which broke the news of a recent California earthquake. Beaujon also wrote about a news-reading robot app from Tribune Company and robot editors.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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