The Daily Conversation
Artificial Intelligence

The Washington Post is Using AI to Write Stories During the Rio Olympics

It may not be Spotlight, but these bots get it done.

The Washington Post, one of the US’s largest newspapers is going to use artifical intelligence to write about the Olympics in Rio, which begin tomorrow.

The Post is using software of its own creation, Heliograph, to create content covering basic aspects of the games. The paper’s site and Twitter (among other outlets) will start posting stories as early as tomorrow morning. The stories will be posted without a word written from a breath drawing human.

Sample of what Heliograph will be putting out. Credit: The Washington Post
Sample of what Heliograph will be putting out. Credit: The Washington Post

Fear not, present and future newsfolk, these robots aren’t looking to take your jobs. In fact, according to Jeremy Gilbert, head of The Post’s new digital projects department, “We’re not trying to replace reporters. We’re trying to free them up.” The AI will be focusing on simple aspects of the games such as scores and medal counts, mostly data related facts, thus freeing up the human reporters to tackle more complex stories.

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