Start up Narrative Science first got attention with its sports software which generated news stories about games. From simple analytical data. So who needed to pay a sports reporter to cover the game when software could do it?
The next step for Narrative Science was to develop artificial intelligence authoring platform Quill. The slogan is "Let Quill do the writing for you."
Right now that is being leveraged to generate basic financial reports. Here is an example of the earnings report for JM Smucker which had been published in FORBES. That is, it's in a brandname media property. The question bouncing around is if low-level financial analysts should be scared. After Apple releases Q3 results, will Quill do the fundamentals in analysis? Should those trained to provide investors insight at Motley Fool and who opine on Seeking Alpha be shaking in their boots? Are they becoming as irrelevant as secretaries?
Closer to home, there are you and me in Executive Communications. Until now, we were the bullet-proof sources for producing the "stories" organizations, causes, and individuals want to tell. In this era in which "narrative" is everything, we have been in increasing demand. Unlike the hit digital delivered to journalism, the emergence of web and mobile simply provided more space for our clients to post those narratives. We are being called upon to research, organize and create the text for a growing number of books, print and e-, white papers, opinion-editorials, articles, direct mail, and profiles.
But, could Quill do as well or even better? For example, I just finished ghostwriting a print book for a Millennial entrepreneur and hedge fund operator. It was difficult since he represented the new breed of business professional or personal brand. However, suppose the engineers, editors, and business folks at Narrative Science plugged in those characteristics. Then for the next step, plugged in his message. The book might have been produced more quickly and for peanuts.
On the other hand, it might not have. Perhaps we in executive communications will always be needed to bundle the personality and the message just right. That unique voice is the platform for the brandname which will sell whatever. That might be affordable healthcare, investing in an auto stock, or purchasing android versus iPhone.