What I plan to do when these new robot journalists take my job…

I just received an email from my journalism professor that said we don’t have to come in to lab tomorrow. Seeing as I dropped Spanish class (I know. I’m Mexican, right? what the fuck?) and we don’t have any more 8 am lectures in J301, I really can’t think of anything that I have going on tomorrow.

So naturally, I got out of bed. The laundry machines are always open this late at night, but I really don’t want to commit two (or more) hours to doing my laundry. That doesn’t even include folding it, which is the worst part of the entire laundry experience.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself tomorrow, let alone what I’m going to do with myself after I get done writing this. I just felt like writing and I’m still trying to get through this writer’s block, mind you. I’ve got a massive story due next week and I’ve got some tweaks to give my final psychology paper, so now’s not the best time to struggle with words.

So I read some shit today…

According to an article in Wired, there’s an algorithmic system that computers are using to come up with news stories. Someone has to pump raw data into this system, from what I understand, and the computer will whip up a fresh story to be published wherever it needs to be. The stories that this thing is ‘writing’ right now are pretty basic and would probably drive every journalism teacher I’ve ever had nuts, but they’re pretty effective for people who don’t necessarily give a shit about substance — people who just want raw facts, like baseball fans.

Baseball fans don’t care about what they read. They just want numbers…except for this asshat reading a book in the Crown Seats at the K. Come on, dude, the Royals blow but show some KC pride!

The article continues with some blowhard talking about how he thinks the robot-journalist will be able to win Pulitzers and shit within five years. As far as I’m concerned, this guy can fuck off no matter if he’s right or wrong. This guy’s basically saying that I’ve been busting my balls since I was 14 for absolutely nothing because some souped up MacBook is going to make me look like a dyslexic, illiterate baffoon in like ten years.

I don’t know how I feel about this.

I’m usually all about technological innovation. I try to stay up on all the latest shit like this and I usually get somewhat excited when I read it in the middle of my psychology lecture. With a story like this, though, I feel like I’ve all of a sudden turned into an old man — not in the sense of feeling inferior to computers, because a computer will never beat a man with a hammer — because I don’t want this particular technology to develop. I really don’t feel bad about it, either. Theoretically, if the guy in the article’s right, I could be sitting in a newsroom ten years from now and get the good old cop-and-box because a god damn Dell Inspiron is going to be taking my desk.

While I’m not actually that worried about it, it gave me an interesting opportunity to think about what I would do if it were to happen.


So here’s what I’d do.


Note: I’m going to do this with pictures because A) I’m bored as fuck; B) I really don’t want to change the music I’m listening to right now and I can’t write my best and absorb good music at the same time; and C) I’m not stupid. I know people like pictures more than they like words. In a way, I’m the same.

(This is the song I’m talking about. Do yourself a favor.)

 


1. Teach high school kids…maybe even college classes.

Yeah, I realize they don’t make any money. Neither do journalists. If there’s a god, he didn’t bless me with medical-savvy or corrupt business ethics, so I’m fucked no matter what.

2. Go back to school and try to learn how to be a music producer.

3. Try to write books and subsequently develop an alcohol problem.


4. Try to do stand-up comedy and subsequently develop an alcohol problem.

5. (The most likely) Come back to Leawood and spend every night at the bar trying to woo a rich divorcee — and then marry her so I can do whatever I want.

Elin, if you’re reading this, I’d gladly give up my addiction to your ex-husband’s video game, and most of all, I promise I won’t fuck any porn stars. Hit me up, babe.

Thank god I’m decent at what I plan to do for the rest of my life, because if I wasn’t — or if robots take my fucking job — I’d obviously be pretty screwed.

I’m going to go eat a peanut butter and go to bed. I should also probably shave the beard I’ve suddenly acquired, but I don’t think I will.

All the best
AJ

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