The next report you see or read from the Rio Olympics may not have been written by a journalist, but by a robot.
The Washington Post has deployed artificially intelligent bots to cover and create reports on each event being held in Rio. The Post released a statement prior to the games (we assume was written by a real person) announcing it would use AI to report "key information from the 2016 Rio Olympics, including results of medal events" with the help of a "Heliograf" which automatically generates short multi-sentence updates.
The updates are spit out by the bots after it receives data from the results of events. It appears in the Post's blog that is updated live, on Twitter and are also available on Amazon's Alexa platform and the Posts bot for Facebook Messenger.
This isn't the first time bots have been used to cover sports. The Associated Press deployed the technology earlier this year so it could generate reports from minor league baseball games.
The amazing thing however is that the bots are so advanced in artificial intelligence that they can create the content in context and meeting the journalistic standards of the Associated Press.
In other tech news from the Olympics, a Venezuelan blogger says his Twitter account was suspended after he violated copyright rules by the International Olympic Committee.
Luigino Bracci Roa who tweets as @Lubrio, said he was notified by Twitter than the IOC notified them he had posted video clips from the games and says it violated the rules set out prior to the Olympics opening ceremonies.
His account is now a blank page with the words “Account Suspended” plastered on the feed. It is believed that once the games are complete, twitter accounts that have been suspended will be available again.
A smartphone caused one even to be halted after it fell from the pocket of a fencer. In a video tweeted by NBC, it shows a smartphone being tossed from the pocket of a fencer in the middle of a match. Judges stopped the event while the fencer retrieved the phone and handed it to an official.
We are not allowed to post the video here, but you can find it retweeted on my twitter timeline @jameytucker