19:40 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Yonhap News Agency headquarters in Seoul

    Dawn of the Soccerbot: South Korean News Agency Employs Digital Journalist

    CC BY-SA 3.0 / Newsy / Yonhapnewstv
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    Yonhap News Agency unveiled its new digital 'employee' – a sophisticated software construct tasked with covering football games.

    The construct, known as Soccerbot, was developed by the news agency to write news articles about the English Premier League (EPL) and is being touted by Yonhap as "a key milestone in its efforts to improve coverage and expand technology-based journalism."

    The "robot journalist" has already produced some 380 experimental articles during testing, which involved the coverage of the 2016-17 EPL season.

    A screenshot of articles written by Yonhap News Agency's Soccerbot on the agency's web site
    Yonhap
    A screenshot of articles written by Yonhap News Agency's Soccerbot on the agency's web site

     

    Soccerbot writes its articles in three steps: first it collects information from up to five different sources, weeding out inconsistencies and mistakes; then it writes the actual article, using a vocabulary and grammatical database compiled by Yonhap reporters; and finally, the program subjects its creation to a thorough spelling and grammar check.

    It should be noted that the China Earthquake Networks Center apparently employed a similar digital construct to write an article about an earthquake in Sichuan province mere moments after it occurred.

    According to Science and Technology Daily, the robot, which is part of China's Digital Earthquake Observation Network, generated a 540-word report with 4 pictures about "25 seconds after the initial seismic shock."

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    Tags:
    Earthquake, article, journalist, software, robot, news agency, Yonhap, China, South Korea
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