Could writers soon be replaced by robots?

Advanced algorithms are giving life to computer-generated news stories. Plus, proving that you can make a career out of writing, packaging prose, a columnist’s plagiarism defense, and more.

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Depending on your point of view, the idea of robots or algorithms taking over human tasks is either a sign of improved efficiency or people losing their jobs. Until recently, writers could be pretty detached from those worries; no way could a computer be taught to write an article or blog post. Except now they can. In a video story, The Washington Post covers a company called Narrative Science, and how they’ve adapted an algorithm to write stories about Little League games and other events driven by small amounts of data. In a world of ever-higher demand for content, computer-generated stories have a place. But at what point do writers need to get defensive? And at what point will editors and publishers begin looking at stories created by an algorithm as a replacement for a staff writer, rather than a complement to their work?

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