Declining advertising revenue, slow adoption of new technologies and fealty to a crumbling old model of news distribution were already doing a number on the psyche of the average news reporter. But this one is a
pretty low blow. Scientists in Tokyo, who apparently have nothing better to do than jabbing a salt-covered pencil into the eyes of journalists worldwide, like say oh, I don’t know, creating a viable renewable energy infrastructure or attacking the moon or building more of these things that will take on the responsibility of driving your drunk ass home or limiting the number of emails I get with the word ‘fuckstick’ in the subject line, have created a journalist robot that can gather and publish basic information. More from SingularityHub:
Researchers at the Intelligent Systems Informatics Lab (ISI) at Tokyo University have developed a journalist robot that can autonomously explore its environment and report what it finds. The robot detects changes in its surroundings, decides if they are relevant, and then takes pictures with its on board camera. It can query nearby people for information, and it uses internet searches to further round out its understanding. If something appears newsworthy, the robot will even write a short article and publish it to the web.
OK, so this article is a bit vague here, and does not provide any examples of work the RoBernstein has produced (“5-8 bit clips minimum; applicant robots should also include a cover letter and several reference programs”) or any information on how it would possibly be used, so I’m not entirely buying the game-changing tone of the article just yet. It’s unclear what counts as “changes in its surroundings,” how it considers these changes relevant, how it chooses which photos to take, what sort of questions it asks bystanders and how it processes the answers. The post’s author hypothesizes the robots could be used in battle zones too dangerous for human reporters to enter. Continue reading