New companies have emerged to connect online workers with jobs that can be cheaply and efficiently outsourced over the Internet. Gary Swart, the CEO of one of the more successful online job brokerages, oDesk, said he is seeing increased demand across the board, including for "lawyers, accountants, financial executices, even managers". And robosourcing is beginning to have an impact on journalism. Narrative Science, a robot reporting company founded by two directors of Northwestern University's Intelligenet Information Laboratory, is now producing articles for newspapers and magazines with algorithms that analyse statistical data from sporting events, financial reports and government studies. One of the cofounders, Kristian Hammond, who is also a professor at the Medill School of Journalism, told me that the business is expanding rapidly into many fields of journalism. The CEO, Stuart Frankel, said the few human writers who work for the company have become "meta-journalists" who design the templates, frames and angles into with the algorithm inserts data. In this way, he said, they "can write millions of storied as opposed to a single story at a time".

This passage is taken from Al Gore's new book, The Future (page 8).

Robots - the journalists of the future?