Coders Can’t Put Writers Out Of A Job Yet, But We’d Better Watch Our Backs


Last week The New York Times ran a story by John Markoff about robots replacing human workers. Andrew McAfee, co-author of the excellent Race Against The Machine followed up with a post of his own. The gist: technology and automation lead to more job creation than job displacement in the past, but that may be changing.

Writing is one of the few areas that McAfee and his co-author Erik Brynjolfsson identified as a low risk for bot replacement. But there are a few attempts underway to train computers to do basic journalism. And while these projects can’t truly replace humans, and may never be able to, my fellow writers and I should be worried about our jobs anyway.

Narrative Science is probably the most widely known proprietor of computer generated journalism. According to Wired’s feature on the company, Narrative Science is using machines to write short news stories…

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