News never sleeps: Impact of robots

Dr. Manasi Mahabal-Sardesai

Have you ever heard who never sleeps? Yes….correct…robots!!! Now robot-technology has come up with a new role for them as Journalists, who could generate content 24/7 without getting tired. While human journalists focus on the valuable work that requires human insight, robot-journalists could generate information-based content.

Do you know how the robot-journalism may work? It is an automated approach to journalism in which some data is transformed into news reports written in human language. This is achieved with the Natural Language Generation (NLG) technique. Mainly there are five steps for automated journalism: Data collection, selection of interesting events, sorting for priorities, narration, and publishing a story. Graefe et. al. have reported that “… not only can algorithms create thousands of news stories for a particular topic, they also do it more quickly, cheaply, and potentially with fewer errors than any human journalist.” Generally it is known as Algorithm Journalism!! Interesting, isn’t it? Good or bad, time will tell.

Robojournalism is suggested to be best suited for sports, finance, and weather forecast, where structured data is available and topics are repetitive. Because of such algorithms, media publishing houses could report breaking news very quickly. One of the previous articles published in 1970 had discussed template-based solutions by tech-savvy providers in which predefined rules are designed to create a story. In 2020, Graefe and Bohlken summarised results on how readers perceive the credibility, quality, and readability of automated news in comparison to human-written news by doing a meta-analysis of 11 peer-reviewed papers in English language scientific journals between 2017 and 2020. In the upcoming years, humans may be engaging in qualitative search for the media and digital life in a smart way.

Will robots ultimately steal a journalist’s job? My plain answer is no. Robots could possibly share our job. There are several benefits of using a machine. For example, robots can act as an “Assistant”, such as writing up press releases, data stories, or earnings results. They may not however be able to conduct face-to-face interviews and ask follow-up questions, craft a colourful feature story and in-depth analysis, or shoot and edit a package for TV broadcast with instinctive and personalised insights. In fact by automating routine stories and tasks, human journalists can free up their time for more challenging jobs such as covering events and investigative reporting. It may also pave the way for greater efficiency and cost-cutting measures for news organizations struggling to survive. Robojournalism is also cheaper because large quantities of content can be produced at quicker speeds.

News automation allows us to report news for smaller target audiences, report same thing in multiple languages, and personalise the content; all this without creating massive additional costs. As mentioned, robojournalism has many benefits to it and is already well suited for reporting repetitive events on which structured data is available. However, the disadvantages could far outweigh the advantages. Apart from fears about even more job cuts in the media industry, there are obvious concerns about the credibility and quality of automated journalism and the use of algorithms. AI may have serious limitations in replacing human skills such as creativity, humour, or critical thinking in the newsroom, which are all crucial aspects for the media professionals. With new self-learning tools where all this ends up, only future can tell!!

Oxford university and Deloitte team surprisingly developed one calculator tool ( to find out the percentage of automation risk and job score related parameters. Quite a few news organizations have been working on automated journalism, incorporating it into their readers’ experience in quite a few different ways. As creatives, this is an excellent way to improve quantity, as well as perhaps the quality, by allowing creatives to do what they do best; all the while providing readers with easy-to-understand experience. The new era of robojournalism may be soon unleashed where good journalists will never disappear, but will also be forced to think again about how they can be more creative, innovative and bring in-depth analysis to their profession. It completely subjective as to how you see a partially filled cup: half full or half empty. The upcoming years will definitely have a rapidly growing number of stories written by robotic journalists. Still people will look for human journalists because they always add value, innovation, and perspective.

Reference source:

computer-produced worded forecasts by Glahn H. (1970)  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 51(12), 1126–1132.

2 thoughts on “News never sleeps: Impact of robots”

  1. Sandeep Kanhere

    What’s the job loss percentage (after 5 years) when artificial intelligence will start implementing on much greater scale

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Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar

Dr. Mashelkar is only the third Indian engineer to have been elected (1998) as Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), London in the twentieth century. He was elected Foreign Associate of US National Academy of Science (2005) and also National Academy of Engineering (2003), Associate Foreign Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2011), Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering, U.K. (1996), Foreign Fellow of Australian Technological Science and Engineering Academy (2008), Corresponding Member of Australian Academy of Sciences (2017), Fellow of World Academy of Arts & Science, USA (2000), Fellow of US National Academy of Inventors (2017), the first ever Indian from India to be elected and TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize (2018), which is the highest science award of The World Academy of Science.

In 2006, he received the ‘Star of Asia’ Award at the hands of former President of USA, George Bush (Sr). The President of India honoured Dr. Mashelkar with three of the highest civilian awards, namely Padmashri (1991), Padmabhushan (2000) and Padma Vibhushan (2014).

Prof. Satishchandra Ogale

Prof. Satishchandra B. Ogale has had a long 40 years of experience in higher education and research.  He has over 500 publications in international journals, three co-edited books with Springer, Wiley and Elsevier, and 10 granted US patents based on research done in India. 
He is a Reviewer as well as Advisory Board member of many high impact International Journals and is also a popular science writer in regional language marathi.
He has won many Awards, Prizes, and National and International recognitions. He has given numerous invited, plenary and keynote talks in National and International conferences and has supervised over 65 Ph.D. students. 
Prof. Ogale has been a Visiting Professor/ Scientist in many institutions in the USA and Europe on several occasions.

Anupama Engineer

She has previously worked as a Scientist at Agharkar research Institute and at higher management level at Thomas Baker Bioscience Private Limited. She has also taught graduate and post graduate students in Biotechnology & Microbiology during her tenure as a lecturer in Royal College, Mumbai and as a Counselor for IGNOU Biotechnology course. Anupama, is a multitasker with few roles like, entrepreneur, Scientist, manager, a doting mother and many more. Teaching and educating is her passion and she takes every effort to encourage fundamental learning. Anupama holds a vast experience in Start-up processes.

Dr Smita Chaturvedi
Smita is an experimental condensed matter physicist. The quest for multifunctional materials motivates her. Smita finished her PhD from RDVV Jabalpur and BARC Mumbai in the year 2002 and worked as a research associate in IIT Mumbai and Oakland University, Michigan. Smita was awarded as a Fulbright Nehru Academic and Professional excellence fellow in 2018-19. Smita holds more than a decade of research and teaching experience. She possesses good knowledge about education system and research opportunities in India as well as abroad. Music and gardening are her mindful meditations.
Dr. Priyadarshini Karve
Dr Priyadarshini Karve has worked in the areas of household energy, decentralised waste-to-fuel technologies, climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable and climate-ready urbanisation, etc. She runs her own social green enterprise Samuchit Enviro Tech in Pune, focused on enabling access to sustainable products and services. She is also a co-founder of OrjaBox, a startup promoting solar thermal technologies. Dr Karve is a Founder Member of Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN - a multi-state society of decentralised renewable energy practitioners and entrepreneurs) and Cleaner Cooking Coalition (CCC - an international organisation focused on promoting user-centric cooking energy technologies that are good for health as well as climate). She is also the National Convener of Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change (INECC - focused on climate justice issues and working to bring people's voices in policy choices). Her work has been recognised by several national and international awards and honours.
Sanjay Khare
Sanjay Khare ,after his graduation in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1986 has been associated with major Japanese & European Automotive OEMs in Indian Subcontinent for 35 years . Widely travelled across Europe & Asia , he has held positions across diverse functions of Automotive Corporations.
In his current role as Board Member and Vice President at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India , he is Chief Sustainability Catalyst to guide actions at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India along with the sister brands Audi, Porsche & Lamborghini.
He leads an active Climate Resilience program where the automotive major in India has already achieved Zero Waste to Landfill, Water Positive & Zero liquid Discharge Certification, Zero Accidents , targeting an 18.5 MW of installed Roof Top Solar plant at a single Automotive site in India in 2021 and fully Carbon Neutral Production by 2025.
Sanjay has done his Executive MBA from Management development Institute ,Gurgaon specialising in Strategy & Marketing . He has active interests in driving Cultural Change, Competency building , Human Motivation topics while adopting/ innovating the technological advancements and total quality revolution.He is also a Qualified Independent Director registered with Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India. An active speaker on Automotive & Sustainability topics on National & International forums.
In personal life, he is an Endurance Cyclist having participated in many adventure ride expeditions . He also spends his time in developing mastery on Indian Classical Music instrument Sitar.