Could a robot have written this story? The rise of the Robo-journalist

Story highlights

  • Software with increasingly complex algorithms are now writing news stories and financial reports
  • The L.A. Times uses Quakebot to write about tremors, using data from the US Geological Survey.
  • Chicago-based company Narrative Science markets its Quill software to media and financial houses
  • The company's chief scientists believes a computer program could win a Pulitzer Prize within the next 5 years

(CNN)They don't call journalists 'hacks' for nothing.

At large news agencies where speed is crucial, template-style stories have long been used for company results, allowing journalists to simply key in the relevant facts and numbers and fire off the dispatch.
Often disparagingly referred to as 'churnalism,' some of the larger media organisations -- including the L.A. Times and Associated Press -- have now turned to robots to take the grind out of formulaic dispatches.