Forbes introduces a robot that drafts a writer’s story for them

Forbes pushes AI in publishing one giant step further with a tool that drafts writers’ first-story drafts for them based on past writings.

Let Bertie write that for you. The debate over whether AI helps or hurts workers continues as Forbes’ supercharged CMS, called Bertie, unveiled a tool that writes rough drafts of articles for contributors, reports Digiday. The tool creates a draft based on what the contributor has written about before.

According to Digiday, “With Bertie, a contributor who writes regularly about the automobile industry might open up the tool to find the makings of an article about Tesla, complete with links to relevant, related articles published both on Forbes and elsewhere. The tool will surface images that might improve the story as well.”

There is no date available as to when the story-writing AI tool will be made available across the entire Forbes network of contributors

Bertie has been around since last summer when Forbes introduced the mega-charged CMS as a way to make their in-house staff and 2,500 person network of contributors more competitive.

“Bertie’s artificial intelligence gives our storytellers a bionic suit – providing real-time trending topics to cover, recommending ways to make headlines more compelling and suggesting relevant imagery,” Forbes said in a press release last June. “We will regularly roll out new AI features to further augment our storytellers’ natural abilities.”

Questions, of course, are being raised.

Forbes isn’t the only publisher using artificial intelligence to create editorial: the Washington Post has been using a tool called Heliograf; Reuters’ has its Lynx Insights tool started nearly a year ago, and the Associated Press has been using AI to write numbers-based stories on assignments like company earnings and sports.

Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.