The question, “should journalists be replaced by computers?” may me rhetorical. Many already have been.
If one steps back and looks dispassionately at the media, a few things are obvious.
1) The media is beholden to politicians
2) Journalists are anti-intellectual, largely social or political science majors.
3) You really don’t have to read their articles or watch their TV shows to know what they’re going to say.
Confirmation bias is the interpretation of new evidence as confirmation of a person’s existing beliefs. It is considered anathema to any scientific analysis.
Scientists spend years trying to design studies that eliminate confirmation bias, more often than not, not succeeding totally.
When was the last time you saw a journalist attempt to eliminate confirmation bias?
Not only do journalists ignore confirmation bias, they seem to embrace the mirror opposite. The idiotic regurgitation of political niche-based confirmation. The major issues of the day are not analyzed dispassionately. They’re simplified to the point of nonsense and sent to ever smaller groups of sycophants.
In today’s intellectual climate, it’s not important to know anything. What better reason is there to replace journalists with computers.
People judge intelligence by what we believe in. This can be seen in many areas. For example.
– It’s important that we believe in global warming yet the solutions to the problems proposed by our environmentalists do little more than send money to political campaigns.
– It’s widely known by food producers that certain buzz words can create demand or stifle it. By giving a food a chemical name, people will stop eating it, even if the chemical is a natural ingredient. On the other hand, adding the word ‘organic’ makes it healthy. Eating has become largely political. In many cases among ‘intellectuals, it’s a belief-based identity. Gluten affects about a tenth of a percent of the population, but 100% of leftists and people who shop at Whole Foods.
– Whether something is legal or illegal is based on who is charged. When Trump was accused of using Russia to rig the election, it was illegal. When it was found Clinton did it, it was a non-event. When Bill Clinton passed legislation that was conservative, the contract with America, it was liberal. When Ronald Reagan doubled the social security tax, it was conservative.
This absurd confirmation bias is best typified by our politicians who have embraced hypocrisy as if it was a badge of honor. The same people who were ranting about illegal immigration 15 years ago are for it today.
The real problem with confirmation bias and why journalists should be replaced by computers, is predictability.
In nature, predictability is weeded out by natural selection. If an animal is predictable, they are typically another animal’s dinner. In modern society the same is true. Advertisers, use todays insanely intrusive devices to play people as if they are Pavlov’s dogs.
I recently had a conversation with a friend that, while feeding her dog an extremely expensive dog food from a health food store, ordered a pizza for herself. Another, after ranting on for 10 minutes about the evils of Monsanto, excused himself to go outside and smoke a cigarette.
Even more disturbing though, are advances in cognitive sciences.
Advances in the understanding of cognition are moving along at a breathtaking pace. What confirmation bias does, is cause people to focus on things that confirm not just what they believe, but what they know. A few months ago, the stock market fell 666 points, an ominous number. Leftists blamed Trump and right wingers blamed the democrats. Many evangelicals blamed the antichrist. Very few people blamed the real culprit. The collapsing market for treasury securities.
Few people see global warming for what it is, which may be the #1 reason journalists should be replaced by computers.
It’s a distraction. By focusing on warming, we ignore the real problems we face. Global environmental degradation caused by exploding third world populations and unrestricted money printing. In the twenty years between 1997 and 2017, as the US was reducing coal use by 200 million tons per year, China increased theirs by 3 ½ billion tons. During that time, India added the equivalent of ½ of the US population.
As long as our media is controlled by journalists, confirmation bias will dominate the dissemination of information.
As long as mass market advertising determines the complexity and relevance of what is discussed, content will be stupefied. As long as we are led by greed-based politics and businesses, we will be played as fools.
When will computers replace journalists? Unfortunately, not soon enough.
PS: Many people reading this will find their political opponents victims of confirmation bias. Few will see themselves that way.