Use The Robot Before It Uses You

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Andrew Beaujon of Poyntor Institute wrote an interesting report describing how the Associated Press (AP) is planning to use robots to write certain business stories.  My first inclination was thinking about how this would negatively impact the journalism industry by reducing the number of media reporters.  While that still might occur even though AP has said this would not impact any current jobs, it hints at what skills and value a potential journalist or any worker for that matter will need to prosper in this new environment.

First, Automated Insights will be providing the automation technology through the use of Zacks Investment Research.  Its content will consist of writing various earnings reports of companies.  Through this form of innovation, the capacity of company data reports will rise exponentially.  Whereas currently 300 stories are generated manually each quarter, that figure will jump to 4,400 stories.  This mundane tasks of writing earnings reports will free media journalists to focus more stories on business strategies and personal relationships with key industry leaders, along with adeptly identifying future industry trends.

Therefore, journalists with strong critical thinking and investigative skills will be in greater demand with the labor-intensive grunt work diminishing.  With amazing technology and innovation, there is so much data available out there.  To the undiscerning eye, that might mean that it will be easier to generate stories and research, but actually it will be more difficult.  With so much information, both good and bad, the value will be found in those individuals that can sift through pertinent, accurate information and communicate it in clear and concise ways to their audience.

For instance, check out this quote attributed from Automated Insights CEO Robbie Allen from Beaujon’s story:

“We flipped the standard content creation model on its head.  The standard way of creating content is, ‘I hope a million people read this.’ Our model is the inverse of that. We want to create a million pieces of content with one individual reading each copy.”

Contemplate that for a moment.  What one individual will have time to sift through a million pieces of content?  It will be the motivated individual that is seeking an edge over their competition.  While that is obvious hyperbole, the greater meaning is who can seek and acquire relevant information in an efficient way.  Individuals that are very proficient at that skill will see their market value rise.

As you enter the new marketplace, recognize that we are in Informational Revolution and adjust accordingly.