A Robot Actually Wrote a Story For a Major Newspaper

Posted by David Konow

We’re reporting this story with a little trepidation, and we’re not the only ones either. While many are afraid robots could take away their jobs, we writers have never been afraid of that, until now perhaps. 

It was while scouring the net I came across a story on Giant Freakin Robot that felt the same way I did…apprehensive about reporting it, but fascinated at the same time. Apparently a journalist named Ken Schwencke created a computer program called Quakebot that wrote an article for the paper about the earthquake that just hit Southern California for the L.A. Times.
 
With programs like Quakebot, you can actually create a program that can report a story based on the data that comes in. According to Robot, right as Schwencke got out of bed after the quake struck, the story was already written. He also has programs for crime stories, and he has said he’s not trying to put us writers out of business, he just wants to help speed up the process of reporting news. 
 
We’re still convinced that no matter how well you program a machine, it still needs someone with an imagination to write something. (Although with some books, articles and screenplays, you wonder…) Yes, you can also train a monkey to type, but he won’t write the great American novel, and we’d like to think this would be the same case with robots as well.