Sports

Covering Minor League Baseball Is So Boring, Robot Reporters Do It Now

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Artificially intelligent robots are now covering Minor League Baseball games around the country for The Associated Press, according to an announcement made on its website last week.

“AP is working with technology from Automated Insights and data from MLBAM, the official statistician of Minor League Baseball” to cover games that were not previously reported on by the news organization. AP made no reference to the reasoning behind not hiring additional human reporters, whether to save money or fill a void that anthropomorphic writers refuse to fill.

AP’s baseball editors and reporters will collaborate with Automated Insights to ensure that “news judgement and standards for AP’s baseball coverage” will be up to its standards. AP only wrote about a small portion of minor league baseball games, but the automated stories will now be available for every Triple-A, Double-A and Class A contest, which includes all 13 leagues and 142 MLBD-affiliated teams.

“We’ve been exploring how to use automation to enrich the AP Sports report,” Barry Bedlan, AP’s deputy director of sports product, described in the published blog post. “MLBAM data is among the best and a perfect fit for this, while being able to generate more content of local interest.”

AP has been employing the help of robots for dull projects since 2014, in which artificial intelligence and software analyze the more mundane data of businesses and quarterly earnings.

“The Associated Press proved the value of automated journalism with earnings stories, and their expansion into Minor League Baseball shows the demand for expanded news coverage from media outlets across the country,” said Robbie Allen, CEO of Automated Insights.

Journalism occupations have been growing in popularity and prevalence over the recent years. The reporting of minor league baseball games could have been conducted by humans, but the Associated Press, for not yet known reasons, wants to use robots for the covering of America’s most famous pastime.

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