You probably did not feel it, but it rocked the world of journalism. Shortly after a 4.7 struck Southern California March 17, a robo-journalist spewed out this report:
A shallow magnitude 4.7 earthquake was reported Monday morning five miles from Westwood, California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 6:25 a.m. Pacific time at a depth of 5.0 miles.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was six miles from Beverly Hills, California, seven miles from Universal City, California, seven miles from Santa Monica, California and 348 miles from Sacramento, California. In the past ten days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.
This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author.
This report appeared three minutes after the earthquake. It’s succinct, intelligent and useful, but I wonder, are humans becoming superfluous? I’ll have to ask my robo-reader when I get a chance.
Read about this issue here: Robot writes LA Times earthquake breaking news article
© 2014, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.