News Now Philip K. Dick's Bailiwick

Yes, news organizations are now going full phildickian; I found an interesting article in Columbia Journalism Review:

Automated systems can report a figure, but they can’t yet say what it means; on their own, computer-generated stories contain no context, no analysis of trends, anomalies, and deeper forces at work. Reuters’s newest technology goes deeper, but with human help: It still writes words, but isn’t meant to publish stories on its own. Reuters’s “automation for insights” system, currently under development, summarizes interesting events in financial data and alerts journalists. Instead of supplying what Chua calls “the headline numbers—the index was at this number, up/down from yesterday’s close,” the machine surfaces “more sophisticated analyses, the biggest rise since whenever, that sort of thing.”

From The age of the cyborg

Dick described in his 1963 story If There Were No Benny Cemoli the idea of a purely automated newspaper:

The structure," the minor CURBman said, "was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us... We haven't located the newspaper yet; it was customary for the homeopapes to be buried a mile or so down..."
(Read more about Philip K. Dick's homeostatic newspaper)

It was also described as "a vast complex electronic organism buried deep in the ground, responsible to no one, guided solely by its own ruling circuits." The homeopape gathered information by utilizing "news-gathering services" and "receptors."

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News Now Philip K. Dick's Bailiwick
'A vast complex electronic organism... responsible to no one...' - Philip K. Dick, 1963.

 

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