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Computers are writing financial news

The idea that computers could write stories has long been in the realm of science fiction, but now an American financial news agency is doing just that. It is just a start and is limited to company financial announcements says Thomson Finacial.

By comparing previous results in a database a story can be completed within 0.3 seconds of a company making its results public, according to the Financial Times. (Hat tip to CyberJournalist)

Reuters too is apparently automatically generating some of its stories but Bloomberg says it does not.

The stories from Thomson can say whether a company has done better or worse than expected but are pretty standardised. “We might try to write a few more adjectives into the program,” said Matthew Berkley, Thomson’s senior vice president for strategy, said.

He told the FT: “This is not about cost but about delivering information to our customers at a speed at which they can make an almost immediate trading decision. This means we can free up reporters so they have more time to think.”

Let’s hope it is some time before that time has to be used to think about redundancy packages.

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