The Creative Process is Changing

In the “Data Driven Media” session, futurologist and changeist founder Scott Smith discussed how it's possible for computer-generated content to end up in newspapers  - and that this process might even make journalists superfluous in the future. For example, a report in the L.A Times about the earthquake on March 17 was not written by a reporter, rather it found its way into the newspaper by means of an algorithm. Programmer Ken Schwencke developed the software "Quakbote," which uses reports from the U.S. Geological Survey and inserts them into a finished report. After that, only a few words need to be added to round out the text. This robot journalism could be used more often in the future, notes Smith:  "Especially because research shows that readers can't always distinguish between computer-generated content and content written by journalists." In a similar vein, sports news could also be created and updated quite simply. Even entire book reviews no longer have to be written by journalists. Thanks to Kindl's "Highlight" function, interesting passages are saved, commonalities created and afterwards strung together. The only thing one needs to do after that is add text modules that combine the individual elements together.

"The traditional creative process is changing and we have to think about it in a different way, especially when the viewer is replaced by a sensor, the editor is replaced by a filter and consumers are replaced by devices. Still, Scott Smith has a positive outlook on the future: "Big data is not generating creativity. We have to find the balance between technology and creativity."