The Associated Press is automating mundane salary earnings articles with a computer program. AP's quarterly earnings reports will be produced by a program that can pull out the key numbers and create a 150- to 300-word article.
The company said that the move will give journalists more time to focus on investigative pieces, and they are ensuring the computer program does not take away any jobs.
"If anything, we are doubling down on the journalism we will do around earnings reports and business coverage," Lou Ferrara, AP managing editor, said in a blog post. "Instead, our journalists will focus on reporting and writing stories about what the numbers mean and what gets said in earnings calls on the day of the release, identifying trends and finding exclusive stories we can publish at the time of the earnings reports."
The stories are generated with technology from Automated Insights and Zacks Investment Research. For the most part, the articles can be written with a formula, with the margin revenue and profit margins simply being keyed in.
"And instead of providing 300 stories manually, we can provide up to 4,400 automatically for companies throughout the United States each quarter," Ferrara said.
AP's automated reports will begin going live this month.