Vista Investment Fund Bought Robot Journalist
Company Automated Insights is the developer of the eponymous service that automatically keeps track of the news information in the nature of the web and generates news, written by "human language". In other words, the script creates news items that are not much different from those written by human journalists. The service itself is now working for the Associated Press news agency, and entrepreneur Steve Case and Samsung have had a hand in creating technology.
February 12 became knownthat the company was bought by Vista Equity Partners, an American investment fund, and STATS LLC. Unfortunately, the transaction amount has not been disclosed so far. The total investment attracted by the Automated Insights service for its entire existence was $ 11 million. Startup representatives said that "shareholders are very pleased with the funds received, and we are in a confident financial position."
It is worth noting that STATS LLC - a company that is engaged in sports statistics, its foundation Vista acquired in June last year. Now the “journalist-robot” will pay more attention to sports news, and not just news on the general and financial topics.
What does a robot journalist do?
The script itself works very well - it is almost impossible to distinguish the generated news from the one written by a human journalist. True, under each generated news it is indicated that it was created by Automated Insights. The developers note that in the first few months of the script, the generated news was checked by journalists who corrected the bottlenecks. But those became less and less, and already from October last year, the news stopped editing.
You don’t have to think that as a result of using the news generation service, the Associated Press fired its employees. No, the company management reports that not a single person was fired for this reason, and human journalists now have much more time to work with articles, analytical materials and reviews. And the technical, boring work entrusted to the script. According to New York Magazine journalist Kevin Ruz, the media workers do not like to write dry, short notes.
Now, in addition to the Associated Press, the service runs on Comcast, Yahoo and Samsung. The total number of partner companies that use the services of the service is more than 90. The maximum productivity of the service, according to the creators, is 2 thousand news items per minute. True, so far such volumes are not needed. Currently, the service generates about 3 thousand news every quarter .
After the change of ownership, the developer company will receive more funds to develop new features and add new features. Perhaps customers at Automated Insights will become even more, and the range of topics with which the script works will expand.
However, Automated Insights now has competitors. The company Narrative Science, for example, is engaged in the generation of content for Forbes.com, financial news. Narrative Science had even more investments than Automated Insights - since 2010, the company has received about 32 million US dollars.
According to some experts, in a decade, almost all news, news items will be generated by scripts. At the same time, human journalists will not be left behind, just the amount of news content will increase, because every year web users need more and more information.