The Circle Is Complete - Robots To Write The Earnings "Reports" Read By Robots

Tyler Durden's picture

Has Skynet become self-aware? It seems the 'robots' that run the US equity markets (HFT/algo trading dominates what little volume there is left) have decided to cut out the middle man in the market as Associated Press reports this morning that it will employ the story-writing software by start-up Automated Insights to automate the production of U.S. corporate earnings stories. To be frank, given the copy/paste nature of most mainstream media 'analysis' of earnings, we thought this had already occurred but AP notes, "We are going to use our brains and time in more enterprising ways during earnings season." Does that mean that anyone but Zero Hedge will be discussing cashflows or GAAP earnings? 


As USA Today reports, The Associated Press is going robotic.

The news service revealed Monday it will employ the story-writing software by start-up Automated Insights to automate the production of U.S. corporate earnings stories, the quarterly bane of the existence of many business reporters.


The AP typically produces about 300 earnings stories per quarter, requiring reporters to crunch data in the heat of wire-service deadlines. Soon they will be producing many, many more.


Using the software would allow AP to automate short earnings stories, typically 150 to 300 words, "in roughly the same time that it took our reporters," says Lou Ferrara, the AP managing editor who oversees business news. The initiative will start in July.


Zacks Investment Research will comb through earnings statements and provide the data for the stories, which will conform to AP Style. Editors will read the articles before they are published, but the process will eventually be fully automated. By the end of the year, AP plans to provide up to 4,400 earnings stories per quarter, which its media clients can post quickly or use as templates to expand.


AP will continue to produce staff-written earnings stories for high-interest companies, such as Google and Apple.


Automation will free reporters to pursue more in-depth work, according to Ferrara. "We are going to use our brains and time in more enterprising ways during earnings season," he told staffers in a memo.


AP is not eliminating jobs, and Ferrara says "most of the reaction (among AP staffers) has been very positive." But the automated stories — as seen in an example copy provided by AP — are largely formulaic, and there are concerns about editorial quality. "There is a healthy dose of skepticism that the whole thing will work," Ferrara says. "They're journalists. I want them to be skeptical."

It seems the circle is complete, machines write the stories that machines trade on; why not just do everything in binary - it's not like humans have a chance to react anyway before the robots.

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NoDebt's picture

"Does that mean that anyone but Zero Hedge will be discussing cashflows or GAAP earnings?"

I wouldn't be holding your breath on that one.

Pladizow's picture

Gives new meaning to "digital" masturbation!

Say What Again's picture

Sooner or later, someone will hack the robot system and there will be some interesting headlines.  Its not a matter of "if" its a matter of "when."  When it does happen, how will the trading robots know what to do?

Oracle 911's picture

Mass hacking of the report generators by Syrian, Russian, Iranian etc digital armies in 5...4...3....

falardea's picture

When I was in college I took over a project for a graduating senior from computer science.  I'm an aerospace engineer without all the formal coding training he was suppose to have, and even I knew he was a worthless hack that didn't understand how to use the features of a programming language to actually make tasks easier and faster.  Anyway, none of his code worked.  He had taken 8-9 months to produce a pile of worthless crap that I replaced entirely (and finished) in 5 weeks.  He went on to the financial world.  If he is any representation of the kind of coders they have, a 13 year old could break into these system (a US 13 year old at that, probably on his x-box, while playing gta5).

The if or when question isn't about the break in, it is whether the other idiots that are suppose to regulate these things can actually catch someone who were gaming the system.

Bunders's picture

Will it be a DoD funded researcher?

alien-IQ's picture

this CANNOT be real. No. No no no no no no no. No.






we are so fucked.

CPL's picture

Dude don't worry about it.  Garbage in, Garbage out remember?

cowdiddly's picture

100  Debt= write "good"

200  Stocks = Write "moar good"

300  IF line 200>100 GOTO 100

ThirdWorldDude's picture

It is only fair that Artificial Intelligence is in charge of our artificial markets/ economy.

Ignatius's picture

"we are so fucked."

Notice how humans -- "useless eaters" -- are being written out of the script in favor of robots.

Perfect market logic... if you're an elite.

Dr. Everett V. Scott's picture

This is how artificial intelligence will take over the world.  Humans are no longer relevant.

AI will win, too. Just like Big Blue.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

AI won't be real until the machines can create bullshit.   We might be almost there.

Bill of Rights's picture

ObamaCare coverage for millions in jeopardy as watchdog finds widespread data flaws | Fox News

That's a 90% fail rate. And that's even after "applicants submitted appropriate documentation."


Oh, and there's this: out of those 330,000 or so cases that were actually "fixable," only about 3% were actually resolved. And that's a 97% fail rate.

NoDebt's picture

Read down to the bottom.  The administration says it's "all fixed" since the report came out.  Are you doubting the word of the most transparent, truthful and trustworthy administration in history?

cherry picker's picture

I don't know about the rest of you but I prefer to read stuff written by humans.

This high tech world is not what it is cracked up to be, particularly so when it reduces jobs and interaction.

I am a programmer and saw this coming a long time ago.

NoDebt's picture

That really depends on the human being.  Some are OK.  Most I'd really rather not hear from.  Ever.

saltedGold's picture

But it gives everyone an out.  A horribly negative report comes out and they can blame it on the software making a mistake while working on the spin.

dirtyfiles's picture

push for  positive report spin

push for negative report spin

Leveraged Algorithm's picture

All the news is dog shit with the exception of a few websites and ZH - it is the only thing that keeps me sane....

thatthingcanfly's picture

Yeah, ZH is good. You should check out too. These guys are fearless. They were among the first ones to break the story that MLK plagiarized his doctoral thesis.



orangegeek's picture

Automation will free reporters to pursue more in-depth work, according to Ferrara. "We are going to use our brains and time in more enterprising ways during earnings season," he told staffers in a memo.


LMFAO - or you could fire more of them to drive more earnings


Ferrara - you nasty bullshitter!!

goldpercent's picture

This will free reporters to pursue more in-depth work... on their linkedIn profile.

LawsofPhysics's picture

In a fiat world it is and will always be about the "full faith and credit" of the fiat in question.

Same as it always was, until it isn't anyway.

Rakshas's picture

Meh, just another circle of life in Bizzaro world ...... robots writing reports to be read by robots, Congress telling lies to the press to be broadcast on the idiot box then voted on by congress........ ya know to show they are hip and  doing something to protect us...... from.......  them?

At this point I would welcome the rise of the machines, especially that hot blonde one in T3 that does the shape shifting, one second she is a hot piece of *** the next she is a fridge full of cold bear ...perrrrrrfect.... ok that's dreaming

...... maybe I'll settle for unprotected sex with a porcupine..... seems likely less painful.

Cannon Fodder's picture

So when all these robots make everyone unemployed... where will the money come from to enable companies to have earnings to begin with, so that the robots can report on them?

swass's picture

Perhaps they can release it in a audio format with the WOPR voice from War Games narrating.

Cannon Fodder's picture

I love how these people claim this stuff frees them up to do more in depth work. The reason they are able to do more in depth work is because they understand their subject matter. They way they developed that ability is by doing the grunt work in the beginning - they put in their time when they were new doing dirty work. So where does that next generation of people get that experience if it is now all automated?

Oh regional Indian's picture

Very astute observation. Might be more truer in other fields though. Corp earnings...ugh.....

Imagine having to write on what you know is a goal-seeked (sought?) scam....

kevinearick's picture

inflation on no earinings...

Faith & Optimism vs. Confidence & Depression

The consumers are always fighting depression, with one drug or the other, in one confidence scam or the other, exploiting natural resources until they can’t, hoping for a better outcome, always ending in bankruptcy. TARP is History, and America is no exception.

Faith isn’t about hope; it’s about experience, seeking that which others do not want to see, and developing the skills necessary to adapt where others cannot. Faith is the source of optimism, not peer confidence, which is nothing but dead weight.

Optimism is not about identifying weakness in others, as all peer pressure systems are designed to do, but in yourself, and doing something about it, intelligently. Optimism is freedom from depression, not peer pressure, which has no priority other than derivative expediency.

The difference between confidence, false pride, and optimism, experience in faith, is the difference between talking feudalism up and employing feudalism as a counterweight. Peer pressure is incapable of consideration, and therefore cannot price; the bank cannot see demand, let alone supply it.

As the facebooks consuming debt as an example to others are apt to say, but strenuously avoid themselves, tribulation begets perseverance begets habits begets character. You want to learn how to transform gas, liquid and solid, with pressure and heat, in circuits, and they don’t teach that in school.

School breaks up ignorant observations of labor, and adds layers of busy work to justify itself. With free money, it makes sense for the global city to replace arbitrary extortion systems, faster and faster, and small cities to adopt them, with grants from above, until all the natural resources are gone, leaving nothing but debt.

The tradespeople seeking billable hours charge $150/hr for windshield time, from the global city to the countryside and back, in supply and demand stupidity, simply because the countryside is not certified in stupidity. Talent, in building skill, discounts away the stupidity.

Of course the automaton healthcare system breeds stupidity. Of course the corporations hire, promote and replicate stupid, to build a scale economy, to appear invincible, inescapable and inevitable. Middleman misdirection hides the market to produce artificial markets, layers of extortion, which can only atrophy the skills of all participants.

With experience in faith, you can afford consideration. The empire cannot, which is why it is built on false promises, debt as income and asset. The empire is crumbling, under a Disneyland façade, becoming increasingly tyrannical as it does so, but that is only a threat to the participants.

Once empire demographics decelerate, the false promises clothing the dictator vanish, and global communication has blown up the immigration scam, leaving the participants in a circular firing squad, emptying their war chests to live another day. Having children is an act of faith.

Without consideration, the majority is always lost in self-absorption, which is to your advantage if you have faith. Widen your perspective beyond the machine in both directions, by growing time relative to the empire. If you have seen the problem or the solution, it’s not a problem; it’s a manufactured problemsolution.

The empire always hits the wall of imagination, because it cannot jump, out of the past. Step out of the passive until aggressive, anxiety misdirection feedback loop of artificial crises, and you will see that the empire is a line to get a ticket to get in another line, with ticket agents paid in toys.

In your mere individual presence, you change the world, whether you care to believe so or not. Life is not a plan to overthrow the universe, by studying it from behind the curve. Accept responsibility, by discounting the empire, and it turns on itself.

Civil marriage fears work, always finding itself at war over scarce resources, working harder and harder, to avoid work. The Jewish threw their own under the bus to retake Jerusalem, only to eliminate privacy. The only thing about History that changes is the dress. Grow privacy accordingly.

Peer pressure punishes parents for parenting, rewards ponzi participation with toys, and eliminates privacy to ensure the outcome, distilling talent out. Leave it to do so. Some people’s money is worth far more than other’s. The one and only path to the future is eliminating the middleman, with faith.

The fact that civil marriage has amassed such a global arsenal is a reason for optimism, because it’s dead weight, loading the spring. A machine creating opportunity cost is nothing to fear, unless you are a disposable part, in a contract made to be broken.

Marriage is the kernel because it is where you learn to love another more than yourself, to complete the bridge, across MAD weaponization. Step out, move forward and you will see the parts you need. The critters are welcome to spend just as much time as they like copying code and building hospitals, playing make-believe in never-never-land.

Two decades with me following two decades with my dad, and they just keep getting dumber, lowering the standard with a Bell Curve, accepting lost purchasing power as wealth in the form of toys, gutting workmanship and replacing it with the false security of entitlement.

My kids and their children just get further ahead, while the empire crumbles, under a façade of consumer confidence. If the State threatens to replace you with a c-clamp, let it do so. What is beyond gas and solid? How does a mirror short the circuit?

Funny, the critters with a marriage entitlement guaranteeing a duration mismatch, to inflate assets with debt, as income, are pleading freedom and separation. When the hammer becomes the nail, everything looks like a hammer. The law is a circle jerk, for people with nothing better to do, because they have ceded imagination to the State. Move along.

Central control of credit cannot work as a discounting mechanism, but, God bless them, they never stop trying, discounting away their own equity in the future.


pop goes the weasel's picture

The hulk...managing editor.

Jano's picture

Yelen will be digitalized as well? When?

pcrs's picture

Laws are also directly written by lobbyist.

Now I am waiting for computer programs to write the hft algorithms

mkhs's picture

    "why not just do everything in binary - it's not like humans have a chance to react anyway before the robots."


Silly Tyler, that is what insider information is for.

Aurora13's picture

Maybe we can get the robots to pay taxes on our behalf!

Otto Zitte's picture

Shelter in place until Skynet gets to you.

jonjon831983's picture

Just need to hire a guy to flip the switch between Bull and Bear writer mode.

Gief Gold Plox's picture

Pick a random field in your earnings report and write down.

0; DROP TABLE users; -- Screw you Skynet