Hi, Robot

Posted on March 5th, 2015 by Bernie Russell

Have a quick read of this AP story about Apple, dated January 27, 2015:

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) Apple Inc. (AAPL) on Tuesday reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $18.02 billion.

The Cupertino, California-based company said it had profit of $3.06 per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations … The maker of iPhones, iPads and other products posted revenue of $74.6 billion in the period, also exceeding Street forecasts. Analysts expected $67.38 billion.

For the current quarter ending in March, Apple said it expects revenue in the range of $52 billion to $55 billion. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $53.65 billion.

Apple shares have declined 1 per cent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has declined slightly more than 1 per cent. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $109.14, an increase of 39 per cent in the last 12 months.

So what?
What’s so special about it? It’s just a standard-issue news piece, no?
Well, yes; but it was computer-generated – written by software (code), rather than by wetware (us).
The robots are in the newsroom.
In fact, they’ve been there a while. And they’re settling in nicely.

3 Responses to “Hi, Robot”

  1. Jane Crofts says:

    The temptation to make cruel remarks about journalism is quite strong, I will resist! But it does underpin my feelings about so called PR jobs which are effectively just press release monkeys and require no real grasp of strategic PR.

  2. John Cafferkey says:

    Dave Lee showed us a similar programme that writes stories about minor earthquakes. It’s fine to have an algorithm to relay facts and figures but I guess human interest, analysis and making sense of these things are what a reporter/journalist adds.

  3. Roberto Gelado says:

    That would explain so many stories I have read lately…

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