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Media Press Association General News

Press Association to automate match reports and election results within months

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By John Glenday | Reporter

October 19, 2016 | 2 min read

The Press Association is poised to begin automating data-rich news articles such as match reports and election results within a matter of months as it becomes the latest publisher to pass the baton from human writers to computers in the race to deliver breaking news first.

Editor-in-chief Pete Clifton announced the radical plan during a Society of Editors conference, meaning that many UK newspapers could soon be making use of stories which have had no human involvement – although Clifton was at pains to stress that the feature would support their newsroom and not replace it.

The new system will be modelled on Danish news agency Ritzau which has developed its own custom software technology.

Clifton is quoted by the Press Gazette as having said: “It will be more a case of offering an extra level when it comes to short market reports, election results and football reporting.”

“They are more accurate than when somebody was trying to write too many stories on their own. Will it take over from proper journalists? Of course it won’t. We won’t have a robot going to a big fire or covering a crown court case.”

Clifton also moved to assuage fears that such systems could be skewed by being fed false data, saying that measures would be taken to ensure the veracity of the system.

Media Press Association General News

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