Automation and artificial intelligence bring new questions for journalism, but The Associated Press' own experience with using templates to automatically generate text stories from data has made positive impacts. Natural language generation - the technology behind text automation - has eliminated routine tasks from our business beat reporters, freeing them up to do more investigative and enterprise work. In addition, these templates allow us to produce new stories at great volume.
But how do we make this technology more widely available, and to small news outlets which don't have their own automation editors, as AP does? We are developing training around "branch writing," or writing for automated templates, that are easy enough for average beat reporters. Join us for this workshop on branch writing, accompanied by a deep dive into text automation projects.