July 18, 2019

In the Future, Robots Will Write the Jewish News

“The New York Times reports that The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and The Washington Post are all using artificial intelligence programs to write news stories. Such programs, with names like Cyborg, Heliograf and Bertie, can “spit out an immediate news story that includes the most pertinent facts and figures” on things like earnings reports, high school football games and earthquakes.

According to the article, news-writing robots are not a threat to human reporters, but free up reporters to do more valuable work.

Which is exactly what a news-writing robot would say, isn’t it?

At JTA, we are testing our own robot reporter, Bert Cyberg, to help us with the kinds of Jewish stories that essentially write themselves. We programmed him with dozens of story templates like those below. If he plays his memory cards right, Bert might one day be running this place.

Vandals spray-paint DISGUSTING ANTI-SEMITIC PHRASE at JEWISH INSTITUTION SOMEWHERE

(JTA) — Police in PLACE are investigating an attack on DATE, in which vandals scrawled “CURSEWORD Jews” on the walls of Congregation Beth HEBREW NAME. Police have so far refused to identify it as a hate crime.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denies charges of anti-Semitism

(JTA) — British Jews called on Corbyn to resign after he said SOMETHING THAT WAS OSTENSIBLY ANTI-ISRAEL BUT SOUNDED A WHOLE LOT LIKE SOMETHING AN ANTI-SEMITE WOULD SAY.”

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