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artificial intelligence

Chinese newspaper uses robots to generate stories and articles

On Thursday, the China Science Daily publicly announced that it has used software to automatically generate news articles and stories about the latest discoveries and developments from the leading science journals across the world.

The robot reporter named “Xiaoke” was developed by the newspaper in collaboration with researchers from Peking University in nearly half a year. According to the creators, Xiaoke has generated more than 200 stories which are based on English abstracts of papers published in journals such as Science, Nature, Cell and the New England Journal of Medicine.

The content before being published, undergoes a review process and a group of scientists and the editor will verify the content or provide supplementary information if needed. Zhang Mingwei, program head and the newspaper’s deputy editor-in-chief said the scientists would transform Xiaoke to a cross-linguistic academic secretary for helping the Chinese researchers overcome the barriers of language and have quick and easy access to the recent advances in the scientific world in English publications. The articles created by Xiaoke are published here.

The lead researcher of Peking University, Wan Xiaojun who is in charge of the system’s design and technology, said that this tool could do a lot more than just translation. Xiaoke is a good a selecting complex words and sentences and can transform the complex and confusing terms into simple readable and easy news reports as the readers of the news paper also include general public apart from professionals.

Science reporting is important to spread information about recent discoveries and popularizing the knowledge to the masses. Manual review by reporters will also help in engaging people. It recently published a Canadian study about the origin and development of cerebellar tumors by using gene sequencing approach that was published in the Nature journal. The robot also provided the original abstract and a link to the paper. Robots will also help to save time in writing as compared to human editors. According to investors, more journals, conferences and patent information will be automated by systems in the coming days.

Recently many Chinese news organizations have used robots to generate news stories regarding sport and financial reports as well as weather forecasts. The China Science daily is administrated by Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is published five days a week with a circulation close to 100,000 across the country.

The stories generated by Xiaoke have been published online at:  http://paper.sciencenet.cn/AInews/