As a content creator, I followed the early days of the journalism bot when it was first introduced many years ago. Back then, plenty of people in my industry were convinced that the bot would put many of us out of work in short order. It never happened. It probably never will. Bots are great tools for automating certain tasks, but they can never fully replace the human brain.
Journalism bots do not get much media attention these days. But they are out there. According to a Forbes article from 2019, some of the most reputable news outlets in the U.S. – including some pretty prominent newspapers – utilized journalism bots. But the bots have not replaced human journalists. Rather, they have become tools that journalists use to do their jobs better.
Content creators putting out tremendous volumes of content on a daily basis could probably make use of a journalism bots as well. However, the core of good content is still creativity. That is something computer algorithms do not possess despite the advances of artificial intelligence (AI).
What the Journalism Bot Does
A journalism bot is not a physical piece of equipment. It is not a robot you can hold in your hand. Instead, it is a piece of software. You feed it data that it analyzes and turns into written text. For example, you could feed it data from numerous stock exchanges. It could take that data and construct an article describing the biggest winners and losers of the day.
You could also feed it statistical date from last night’s baseball game. Using that data, the bot could construct a text-based narrative of the game. Journalism bots are pretty amazing in their capabilities. Yet despite how much they can do, there is still plenty they cannot do. And their shortcomings explain why journalism bots will never replace human content creators.
Understanding Visitor Intent
Webtek Digital Marketing, an SEO and digital marketing firm in Salt Lake City, Utah, includes content marketing in their list of services. Most of the content they produce is written text, though infographics and other options are available. Every piece of content has one thing in common: it is designed to reach a particular audience. And for a content creator to do that, they must have a good idea of what people want to know when they visit a website.
What people want to know is called ‘user intent’ in the SEO business. Google has put a lot of time into natural language processing in order to teach its algorithms user intent. But Google algorithms still cannot do it as well as the human brain. Therein lies the rub.
Getting Your Attention
As a writer, I created a headline for this piece with the intent of grabbing your intention. Then I had to anticipate what you might want to know about journalism bots to write the body. That includes not only how journalism bots work, but why they are not a substitute for human content creators. I can do this because I have a brain that understands how people think.
Journalism bots do not. They can only respond to their programming. They cannot think on their own. They cannot make decisions. They cannot get inside the minds of readers.
Journalism bots are incredibly good tools capable of making journalism more efficient. They are no replacement for a good content creator. If you want fantastic content for your website and are not capable of producing it yourself, it is well worth hiring a professional. Human beings with creativity and skill are far superior to computer software.