12 January 2017

Benjamin Bathke

“Journalists will have superpowers” Futurist Amy Webb talks opportunities — and pitfalls — of journalism tech

We had the opportunity at CES on 8 January to sit down with Amy Webb, futurist, founder of Future Today Institute and author of its annual Tech Trend Report, to discuss computer automation, fake news and immersive storytelling. Amy Webb will be delivering a keynote at the GEN Summit 2017 held in Vienna, 21–23 June.

GEN: How can computer automation improve how news is gathered, organized and distributed?

Amy Webb: The future of news can be made much more efficient and probably also much more seamless through the use of automated technologies. That does not necessarily mean the end of human reporters. But it does mean augmenting the abilities of human journalists. And that is nothing but exciting for newsroom leaders and for editors-in-chief. What it essentially means is that journalists will have superpowers. Using what I call a next generation of computer assisted reporting — learning from the crowd by observing their data to using algorithms to collect, customize, produce and distribute content — all of these all of these scenarios are near-future realities, and they’re going to be great for newsrooms.