As we have reported in the past, media outlets have been utilizing the combination of data and algorithms to produce content without human input. In fact, it was recently announced that the Associated Press will be utilizing automation technology to write corporate earnings reports! The next thing you know, entire newspapers will be written by robots in fact that day is already here.

According to GigaOm, we are now reaching the next level of robot reporting the concept of a limited-edition printed newspaper that is produced by algorithms only, and whose content is determined by the sharing habits of its readers. The Guardian in the UK has been experimenting with a printed newspaper that is made up of the best long form content from both the Guardian and its sister publication The Observer.

This paper uses algorithms that track which stories are most read and shared to determine what stories are included in each edition. A robot actually lays out this content in newspaper style, and a human editor is only used to determine that the content is not outdated before it gets printed.

The downside of this type of content management is that we may end up reading only the type of content that we agree with, which will limit our exposure to challenging and different ideas. The challenge to this kind of newspaper reporting may be the delicate balance between providing information that is popular while continuing to deliver important and sometimes unpopular information.