Will Artificial Intelligence Replace the Journalist?

This paper was presented at the 2019 Future Communications conference at York University. Download it as PDF here, with all of the proper in-text citations. 

An exhausted editor waits in line for her second coffee of her overnight shift, when a notification on her smartphone causes her to abandon her quest for caffeine and bolt back to the office. Glancing back at her phone she can hardly believe the headline, “9.0 magnitude earthquake hits off the coast of Vancouver, tsunami warning issued.” It has only been 30 seconds since early warning systems off the coast of British Columbia detected the quake, and before the editor has even made it back to the newsroom, she’s already approved story copy for a first draft of what will become Canada’s biggest story for a generation. The out of breath editor sprints to her desk and watches social media in real time as B.C. residents react to the devastating effects of the tremors. While other news organizations confirm the details of the quake and struggle to piece together a readable breaking story, the editor who is working alongside a small skeleton crew of overnight reporters, writers and techs, is already assigning reporters and chasing the story on the ground.

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