My Battle to Prove I Write Better Than an AI Robot Called ‘Emma’
A face-off with a computer program to write a news story
Editor's Note: This story is publishing in partnership with the Financial Times. It originally appeared in the series Robots: Friend or Foe.
One day last week at 9:29 a.m. I hunched nervously over my keyboard and prepared to do battle with an entity called Emma. We were each primed to write about the official U.K. employment data at 9:30 a.m. and file our stories to my editor. I was sure Emma would be quicker than me, but I really hoped I would be better.
Her creator, a startup called Stealth, calls her an “autonomous artificial intelligence” designed to deliver professional services such as research and analysis. Since it is fashionable to predict that AI will supplant white-collar workers including journalists, I wanted to put it to the test.
Emma was indeed quick: she filed in 12 minutes to my 35. Her copy was also
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