Narrativa in Der Spiegel
Translated using Google Translate (original version in German)
Fear of the robots
The filmmaker Friedrich Rackwitz observes that the dpa has the same problem as Coca-Cola, BMW and Co .: “It is no longer enough to do something good today, but the companies have to present themselves as sexy start-ups, but they do not at all. “dpa is not a development agency,” but a company that sells news “.
Rackwitz filmed for half a year at the capital office, and in 2016 his documentary “Grundrauschen” was released. It is a chamber piece that draws a different picture from that of the hip, punky change company that vies for developers: a glassy wasteland between screens that says “we feed at this time when people want to scroll have to feed, have to feed, “as an editor puts it. Nibbler news for mobile phone users, 24 hours, 7 days a week, 209,000 messages a year.
If Spaniard David Llorente were to succeed, many agency journalists could be released from their routine today. He is the head of a company for robot journalism, Narrativa, another start-up from the dpa talent company Next Media Accelerator. Its software automatically builds ready messages, especially in the areas of sports, finance, e-commerce, stocks or weather. Thanks to Narrativa, journalists could finally write more analyzes and conduct interviews, Llorente enthuses.
The Spanish service of dpa had the automated football reports tested – no result. Roland Freund says that “we do not yet use robot texts at the moment”. But that does not mean “that it might not be possible elsewhere”. The innovation should not go too fast then, Llorente experiences this time and time again, especially in the West. In the United Arab Emirates, that is quite different: There, the start-up already has three customers, a real boom market.
The online newspaper El Confidencial in Madrid shows that its software works. El Confidencial has built its entire sports coverage with Narrativa, from 0 to 400 news a week. “There’s no need for a human eye to edit or review it”, says Llorente happily, “it goes directly online”.
Article written by Petra Sorge and originally published by the German Press Agency on December 2017.