Nobody’s suggesting it is either comprehensive or colourful, but without one robot reporter, it wouldn’t be there at all.
Dutch publisher NDC plans to cover 60,000 regional football matches this year without taking the time or resources of its newsroom.
When the first post-COVID football season kicks off later this year, the publisher has promised to cover every local match for the whole season, a commitment that equates to 60,000 games and far more than it could manage manually.
Robots will write match reports and assemble tables, while photos and coach comments will be collected via a crowdsourcing platform.
The technology comes from Swedish tech company United Robots, and will see NDC cover all the local/regional football in the Netherlands northern regions of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe, in which the population is about 1.5 million people.
NDC sport product manager Ard Boer says the project will drive inclusivity and engagement in the local sports communities. “For a regional publisher like us, being able to cover all matches of all division is engagement gold,” he says.
Pictured: An auto-generated article from a live test project last year, in which junior matches were played without spectators being allowed