"Our customers and public have told us they want news that goes beyond the numbers," said
AP automated reporting of sports scores and summaries, but the corporate reports will be written in narrative sentences by computers -- making critical decisions on content always made by human reporters.
"I absolutely do not see this as the end of journalism as we know it," said
Ferrara said no jobs will be lost to automation, but he declined to discuss AP's business news staffing levels and whether any additions or reductions have been made in the past year.
"But if all they're going to do is reduce reporters, that's different," he said. "I hope they will use the savings for higher-level reporting, such as explainers, in-depth articles, things like that."
Ferrara said AP now publishes about 300 earnings stories each quarter by reporters who crunch the numbers and rewrite information from company reports. Once the system is fully in place, AP will be able to supply up to 4,400 earnings stories each quarter. Stories will start to appear this month.
AP is an investor in Automated Insights.
"Our journalists will focus on reporting and writing stories about what the numbers mean and what gets said in earnings calls on the day of the release, identifying trends and finding exclusive stories we can publish at the time of the earnings reports," Ferrara said.
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