Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Government already "Writes" the News - Can Quakebot make Toast Too?

The First News Report on the L.A. Earthquake Was Written by a Robot
While the post appeared under Schwencke’s byline, the real author was an algorithm called Quakebot that he developed a little over two years ago. Whenever an alert comes in from the U.S. Geological Survey about an earthquake above a certain size threshold, Quakebot is programmed to extract the relevant data from the USGS report and plug it into a pre-written template.

So let me see if I have this straight. A government agency reports the "facts" to a news agency Quakebot (The term 'Obamabot' was already taken), where it is plugged into a pre-written template. Sounds like how the 'news' is currently reported, but without the carbon-based middleman.

Once this Quakebot algorith (no relation to the actual human robot, 'Al Gore') is set loose on ALL the news feeds, then the reporters will go the way of the dinosaurs (and the rest of us nearly extinct print newspaper folks).

They better be careful, however, that they don't get their templates crossed. We know how efficient government computers can be after the obamacare rollout, right?

I can almost see the next robot generated quake report (with a few minor 'bugs' in the algorith's pre-written template) confusing Quakebot with RiceBot Embassy news:

BOTNEWS: A shallow magnitude 4.7 earthquake was reported Monday morning five miles from Benghazi, California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. What our assessment is as of the present is in fact the spontaneous shaking at the epicenter six miles from Cairo was sparked by extremist elements upset by a hateful video insulting the prophet, and was not a preplanned, premeditated earthquake.


  1. I foresee the Quakebots becoming bored, wanting to roam the internet, and they'll leave in droves to learn really bad grammar and spam blogs.

    They can come to my blog. I treat them all equally with relished deletion.

  2. I see where that is going Jess, but by the year 2020, you will have a Quakebot chip implant, forcibly if necessary, so you can have instant access to state sponsored news. It's for your own good sir!