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Russian search engine to use robots to write articles

October 26, 2015

Russia’s leading Internet search engine Yandex said Monday it will launch an experimental “newswire of the future”, using computer algorithms to churn out short articles on weather forecasts and traffic updates.

The project — that is set to start in November — will provide the short news items in Russian for media outlets that subscribe to the project.

“We don’t call it a news agency. From our perspective it’s kind of experimental prototype of the newswire of the future – how a news agency may look like,” Yandex’s press office told AFP.

“The news timeline will be developed by our algorithms (or robots if you wish),” the press office said, adding that at first the short updates would be on weather forecasts and road traffic.

The initiative by the Russian Internet giant is one of a number looking to get computers writing articles currently being bashed out by journalists.

US firm Narrative Science has developed a programme that analyses data to produce English-language narrative reports.

Russian news agency Interfax already uses algorithms to write some of its financial information, while America’s Associated Press has started using automation technology to produce some news items.


Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.