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The next step of computer evolution: becoming bloggers

20 March 2013

Summary:  Yesterday we examined the job prospects for journalists when computers do much of their job as well as people. But it might not end there. Computers will become bloggers, either in collaboration with people, or software run by people as a hobby. Here we speculate about what kinds of blogs will be automated first. It’s a window into the coming new world shaped by the next wave of automation.

Evolution of bloggers

Evolution of bloggers

Contents

  1. Four Kinds of Blogs
  2. A different perspective on blogging
  3. A deeper significance of robot bloggers
  4. Leave a comment
  5. More Info about the Robot Revolution
  6. Soon a computer will scan all this information and write a post better than I can

(1)  Four Kinds of Blogs

Many blogs provide information. This includes reporting on people and events, delivery of facts (broadly defined), and how-to advice. Much of the value of these posts comes from framing the issue and selecting what key data to include. Soon computers will be able to do this for many subjects, and can do so today for simple stories in clearly defined subjects (eg, baseball games, financial reports).

A second kind of post provides affirmations of group identity. The other group is bad-ugly-wrong. We are good-pretty-correct. For example, much blogging about climate science consists of this with a thin technical gloss. A computer probably could easily churn out such content. Including the insults and snark. Perhaps eventually even with some humor.

A third kind of post provides insights.  I wonder when a computer will be able to do this.

A fourth kind evokes or shares emotions and feelings. I wonder how soon a computer will be able to fake this enough to fool readers (a limited sort of Turing Test).

(2)  A different perspective on blogging

Let’s look at the ability of computers to automate blogging in terms of the different types of authors:  “7 Different Blogger Types Explained“, Eva Percic, Zemanta, 26 December 2012

  • Preachers are about studying content, presenting key viewpoints and opening a platform for further discussion.
  • Techies enjoy spreading their word, sharing knowledge and educating.
  • Professionals present  facts, ideas, and accomplishments, and seek feedback from their followers.
  • Beauty hunters create or promote beautiful things, educate others and exchange opinions.
  • Life improvers share know-how, give support and instruct people how to improve their life.
  • Life stagers search for help, or share their experience and make someone else’s life easier.
  • Hedonists promote different lifestyles to enrich people’s daily routines.

The below graph sorts these types in two dimensions. Which of these will computers replace early and well? As a guess, they’ll do those on the bottom half more easily. Or, perhaps they’ll quickly learn to fake the 3 types on the upper half.

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From Zemanta

From Zemanta

(3)  A deeper significance of robot bloggers

What does it mean when computers can do so many things, like some kinds of blogging, better than people? Not just at work, but in other domains of life. To be is to do, and machines doing so much better than us might force a redefinition of who we are — what it means to be human.

And all this is before the advent of real artificial intelligence, the birth of machines capable of creative thought and self-improvement (ie, re-writing their own code). Then things will get even more interesting.

(4)  Leave a comment

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(5) For More Information about the Robot Revolution

  1. The coming big increase in structural unemployment, August 2010
  2. The coming Robotic Nation, 28 August 2010
  3. The coming of the robots, reshaping our society in ways difficult to foresee, 22 September 2010
  4. Economists grapple with the first stage of the robot revolution, 23 September 2012
  5. The Robot Revolution arrives & the world changes, Apr 2012
  6. The coming big inequality. Was Marx just early?, 27 November 2012
  7. In Friday’s job report you’ll see early signs of the robot revolution!, 5 December 2012
  8. Krugman discovers the Robot Revolution!, 9 December 2012
  9. How do we respond to the Robot Revolution?, 11 December 2012
  10. 2012: the year people began to realize the robots are coming, 3 January 2013
  11. Journalists reporting the end of journalism as a profession, 19 March 2013

(6)  Soon a computer will scan all this information and write a post better than I can

Graphic by Anne Helmond, New Media Research Blog:

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