On Friday morning Guardian Australia published its first news story written by an automated system called ReporterMate. It’s a program that takes a dataset and a story template file then turns it into a news story without much human intervention.

So why are we doing this? And, as my colleagues keep joking – won’t it make reporters redundant? These days news organisations have fewer staff but still need to cover a large amount of news. And, despite having less time, journalists often have to write formulaic stories.

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