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Associated Press to use automation for minor league baseball stories

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In the same way that blue-collar factory jobs steadily became taken over by automated machines, this writer’s job could be in jeopardy if the Associated Press’ technology expands beyond just their most recent deal. With the help of natural language algorithm company Automated Insights, the Associated Press announced Thursday that it will be publishing written content created by computers.

The Associated Press is only doing this for minor league games, of the type that they would not previously have been able to cover, and the stories will be heavily based off of data provided by Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM). A total of 142 previously uncovered teams will now enjoy a little bit of press, even if a human doesn’t write it.

The articles written by these robots tend to be relatively straightforward, but have all the necessary information to recap a game.

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Since baseball has always been such a data-driven game, automatically generating a story is a quick and easy task. Although, these computer-generated articles are lacking a certain element of color and commentary.

Using this software with other sports might be a bit of a more difficult task, although there has seemingly been a data revolution over the past couple of years, providing organizations more statistics than ever before on sports like football, soccer and basketball.

But, it may be a long time before those advanced new statistics make their way towards previously uncovered sports teams. The strength of baseball is that data is readily available, and has been an integral part of the sport for generations.

Unless Automated Insight’s technology becomes miraculously advanced, sports writers will always be needed. This technology’s power lies in the ability to cover games factually and concisely when they would not have been covered at all otherwise.