Over the years, Trylon SMR has been following the trend in journalism of moving from human reporting of some data-driven stories to a kind of robot-reporting mechanism that allows publishers to automate some of the more mundane article production. A recent story in the American Journalism Review asks if this trend can mean the end of journalists.

The founders of two companies who are using the practice of analyzing reams of data to drive automated storytelling claim that their service simply complements current journalism and has no intent to replace the human element. For journalists, there may be a need to validate their human contribution to a story Ė the insights and intuition that can be lost on a computer program.

A good example of the process is explained in the article. Local sports stories escape most media, but using this technique a company called Gamechanger was able to publish three million articles about local games that included recaps of the games based upon statistics recorded at each game.

The caveat: while it is possible to slice and dice data to produce a relevant story based upon published statistics, much of the flavor of a story can be lost. The human element of sarcasm and irony canít be replicated by a machine. Human insight is necessary to provide the background and color that makes a story come alive.