Robo-Journalists?

The future may be bleak for us mere humans…especially with robo-journalists taking our jobs!

There has been a significant increase in automated journalism in the last year. Software programs are able to write sports stories and generate original news videos by compiling images and opinions found on the Internet.

But now, researchers at the Intelligent Systems Informatics Lab (ISI) at Tokyo University have developed a journalist robot that can autonomously explore its environment and report what it finds. The robot detects changes in its surroundings, decides if they are relevant, and then takes pictures with its on board camera. It can ask nearby people for information, and uses internet searches to further round out its understanding. If something appears newsworthy, the robot will even write a short article and publish it directly to the web.

Although the idea of robot journalists may be frightening, and maybe even creepy, there are some benefits to the idea. For instance, robot journalists can go to areas too dangerous for human reporters. Back in 2002, MIT created the Afghan eXplorer robot to cover the war there. Of course, that robot was a teleoperated shell while the ISI bot is autonomous. Which means that we can make a huge number of these bots, send them out into the field unsupervised, and have them generate a new era of robot written media.

To see some robot journalists in action watch the video:

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