The future of news

Not content with merely displaying our news, computers are beginning to write it – and a story today on ResMed's interim result shows they're getting pretty good at it.

Browsing around for news and comment on ResMed’s (ASX: RMD) (excellent) second quarter result this morning, I came across this news story on CNBC. It’s short and sweet, but does the job, as they say.

The company made profit and earnings per share of blah, which beat analysts’ forecasts of blah. Sales of blah also beat forecasts of blah. There’s even some nice detail specific to ResMed – which was described as a ‘San Diego-based company’ and a ‘maker of medical products for respiratory disorders’ (which is as good a way of describing it as I’ve come up with over the years).

The article goes on to describe the share price reaction on the day and notes that it’s up 33% over the past 12 months.

All good stuff and written nicely enough, so I was amazed to read at the end of the article that it had been ‘generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research’. I’ve come across computer-generated news stories before, of course, but never as good as this. Without the note at the bottom I would never have known.

Just as the future looks bleak for newspapers, it’s starting to look tough for generic news reporters.

Disclosure: The author owns shares in ResMed.

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