Artificial intelligence is already being used in newsrooms across the country to write straightforward news stories and unearth data trends. Does that mean that eventually, as machines become more intelligent, robots will replace reporters?

Not so, says Northeastern assistant professor John Wihbey, who is writing a book on the future of news in a networked world. But journalists are going to have to refine the concept of what is compelling news.

The stories that will rise to the top are the ones that only humans can unearth: stories that are analytical, critical, that synthesize the infinite amount of information available online.

“My hypothesis is that even as computers are able to do more of what we now consider news, capital-n ‘News’ will move up the value chain, Wihbey said. “It will become more analytical, more critical, and potentially increasingly opinion-oriented.”

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