SEOUL, March 14 (Korea Bizwire) – An experiment has been conducted to see if readers could discern the difference between articles written by robots and humans. In the study, participants were shown five articles written by robots about a baseball game. The results revealed that only 46 percent of the respondents could tell that they were written by a robot.
More than 600 adults participated in ‘robot journalism’ experiments conducted last year by the Korea Press Foundation. The results were issued in a report entitled ‘Possibilities and Limitations of Robot Journalism’.
After the procedure through which journalists write articles is made into an algorithm, a robot uses artificial intelligence (AI) to search related material and write an article. Currently, robot journalism is practiced in areas such as sports and business where articles often have similar structure.
In the experiments conducted by the Korea Press Foundation, the average percentage of correct answers across the five articles was 46.1 percent, broken down to 47.2 percent, 54 percent, 50.2 percent, 18.7 percent, 60.3 percent for the individual articles. More than half of the participants couldn’t distinguish between the articles written by robots and humans.
The quality evaluation of the articles was also similar, with respondents unable to discern notable quality differences between the human and computer-generated content for most of the articles.
When asked if news without prejudice could be written using an algorithm, nearly half of those who answered (48 percent) said yes, while only 14 percent were skeptical.
However, some expressed concern that robot algorithms might ruin the media’s function of monitoring and criticizing (45 percent), and generate meaningless articles (42 percent).
The report concluded by saying that ‘writing’ could be replaced by robots, but for now, collecting meaningful news can only be completed by human journalists.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)