Associated Press Sports announced last week that it would now be covering Minor League Baseball games in the United States using AI software from Automated Insights and baseball data from MLB Advanced Media (MLBBAM).
These robots will be responsible for covering games that human writers aren’t traveling to anyway, so the technology is not stealing jobs from human sports reporters. Not yet, anyway.
AP’s recent adoption of AI has been in progress for a while. The newsgathering organization has been using AI for its finances since 2014, and has hired automation experts to specifically develop its baseball coverage.
Citing one of AP’s biggest concerns regarding its AI, deputy director of sports products Barry Bedlan said, “We have to make sure anything that moves on the wire is 100% accurate. But once you have properly configured the software then accuracy is not in question.”
AP spent about a year making sure the program was of acceptable reliability, and brought in top baseball editors and reporters to check the auto-generated baseball stories. The AI can make game data available within minutes, a significant improvement over human writing and editing speed. In addition, it is not at all inconceivable that this software will rapidly spread to sports other than baseball, and subjects other than sports.
This is good news for the AI industry. It is becoming more and more clear that AI will become even more capable in the future with applications in many different fields, advancing human capacities as AI pushes our limits.