It’s ironic to note the math of an algorithm is being used to generate the words of a newspaper article — 108 of them in the above example. In another example, the AP uses a tool called Wordsmith to help fill their pages. According to Arik Hanson, “they’re using Wordsmith to auto-generate quarterly earnings stories — 4,400 stories every quarter.”
This all begs a bigger question.
“As computers begin replacing journalists, could they replace YOUR job?”
Welcome to the Machine
With apologies to Pink Floyd, it’s important to note that this trend is far from new. More than a year ago, researchers noted 45 percent of America’s occupations will be automated within the next 20 years.
If you’re anything like me, you’re thinking. “I’m creative! I’m a strategic thinker! They broke the mold when they made me and no amount of math known to man could replicate what I do!”
And I’m inclined to agree with you. But you should know that people are composing auto complete song lyrics and getting robots to write fiction.
Even more relevant is Google’s Primer App. It’s designed to help startups with marketing tasks like Search Advertising, Content Marketing and what it calls “PR and Media” read: media relations.
The app won’t replace anyone, but it doesn’t suck either.
Game Over or Game On?
This post is not to get you freaked out or to get into the weeds on the pros and cons around this topic.
But it is motivation to continually improve your craft. Increasing your relevance and differentiating yourself from others — be they humans or math equations — can only help you. So consider some small, medium and large ways you can improve yourself in the coming year.
Small: Under promise and over deliver, ask more questions, challenge your own thinking.
Medium: Learn enough about the areas of marketing outside your core expertise that it helps you do better work. Compare seemingly unrelated data sources like Google Analytics and customer service stats to mine a new insight about your audience.
Large: Add a completely new skill to the tool kit – personal or professional.
So you can rage at the machine like the Luddites did. Or you can dive into the many benefits the machine has to offer. But your future is not black and white. Your future is up to you. (cues Bluto).