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Goodbye, human journalism! It was very good to meet you

Over the past three and a half decades I have devoted countless hours to one of the most enjoyable tasks one can engage in: storytelling. In fact, I have had the privilege of writing thousands and thousands of stories for local, national, and international news outlets every day. But everything comes to an end and the time of human journalism is over or will be very soon.

Make no mistake: I am not retiring or leaving journalism. After all, there are many stories left to tell. But I can't compete against Xin Xiaomeng, a journalist for the Chinese news agency Xinhua. It turns out that Xin Xiaomeng (and all those like him that we will soon see around the world) never makes a mistake, nor does he get tired, nor does he ask for vacations.

Xin Xiaomeng is a computer-generated journalist or, in other words, an artificial intelligence that, when shown on video and on social networks, appears as a real person who even adjusts the camera before starting to speak or blinks when looking at the light . But he is not human.

This artificial journalist works non-stop and has learned to compile stories, prepare those stories to be shared, and then share them. Also, he does it in perfect English (not Chinese), never mispronouncing even a single word.

I can't compete with someone who never makes a mistake, who doesn't need a break or a nap, who never leaves the computer (he can't, obviously), and who, above all, always finds stories and presents them impeccably.

But beyond what I (or any other human journalist) can or cannot do in a world where artificial journalists are already a reality, in that context another question arises, and it is this one: What stories will artificial journalists tell us? The question can be expanded in this way: How and why do they choose those stories? And do they feel emotions when telling them?

I mean, if there's one element that seems to be essentially human, it's telling each other stories. We have done it since the beginning of humanity. Sometimes these are true stories. Sometimes they are mere fantasies. Sometimes those stories are sublime. Other times, they're downright disgusting. Some stories (like myths) endure. Others are ephemeral.

And now all of that is going to be replaced by an artificial intelligence that will never cry if a plane crashes, will never worry about an economic downturn, and will never be happy if a cure for cancer is found or humans land on Mars. 

I wonder to what point of human decadence we have reached that we delegate to algorithms something that is an essential part of our humanity, telling us stories, even if it is to lie to us or to deceive us. And I wonder why, with the arrival of Xin Xiaomeng and his hitherto unknown companions, we take this new situation so lightly.

Perhaps it is because we "learned" to simply consume stories, but we no longer co-create them

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