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June 3, 2015
A Dire PR Portent: 'Automating' the News
 
To the extent that human interaction is an important component of public relations – and we think it is – the arrival of an automated process for generating news stories seems an unfortunate omen.

Yet Rachel Wingard of Cookerly PR in Atlanta advises that there’s a company, Automated Insights, that automatically generates news stories by using a program named WordSmith. She compares it to Ken Jennings being beaten by a computer on Jeopardy.

Rachel’s reported portent may be a sign of our digital times, but why would she end her post by saying, “If I do find myself one day working for WordSmith, much like Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings, who ultimately lost to the (IBM) machine – I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords”?

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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