Dutch government funds research into robotic journalism

Stack of newspapersTilburg University and the Fontys hbo college have been given a €700,000 government grant to carry out research into automated journalism.

The money will be spent on developing algorithms to write news articles automatically instead of using journalists.

The research is supported by the media organisation NDP whose members include Persgroep newspaper group, broadcaster RTL and news agency ANP, according to a Fontys press release. Some of the research will be carried out at the Telegraaf.

Hille van der Kaa, who is leading the Tilburg research, said every aspect of journalism which can be automated will be.


‘Journalists see these developments as being a long way off but this technology is already entering the journalistic sphere,’ she said. ‘And it is happening more quickly than expected.’

Robots which can write flawless, simple items at speed will free up journalists to work on more complicated, in-depth items,’ Van der Kaa said.

US news agency AP is already using algorithms to write simple financial and sports reports.

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