Automated Agents in Media

Ryan Luckman

COM 400

Due Date: 12/14/16

Final Project

Automated Agents

Description of current situation without this trend:

In the media world, there are many different outlets from which you can consume content. Many different websites post different stories, and there is not one place that you know that you can go to consume all of the media news that you want. Every generation has its own preferred way to finding information. Some read the newspaper, some watch the News on television, and some go online to websites and social media platforms.

According to an article written by the Knight Foundation, 89% of United States mobile users currently access news and information via their mobile devices. This shows that more and more people each year take in content from websites and applications on their phones, and this will only keep growing. In the article, the author states that news organizations all over the world are trying to come up with a way to deal with the fact that most of these mobile users are using applications and not the web. Many of these news organizations are focusing on making an application to adapt to what the market wants from them. In the article, they show a statistic that says that companies like CNN, FOX News, BuzzFeed and others have already adapted and made apps. They have found that the average monthly time spent by consumers on their applications is much more than the time spent on their websites.

Finding different news stories and hearing about current events takes time, which might bother some people. If you want to know everything that is going on in the world you have to be consistently scrolling through different websites and social media platforms. While people do have their go-to news and information outlets, you still will need to go to multiple places to consume content. What is needed is an outlet that can be trusted to provide as much accurate and current news and information as possible.

Right now, Internet bots are being used to do many things. The Internet bots are made for simple tasks. Some people use bots to buy exclusive sneakers online, and some people have tried to use it with Twitter. Bots are like automated agents in their beginning stages. They can act for you if you tell them what you want to be done, but they do not make decisions for you. Automated agents are like bots, except they have the ability to make complex decisions for you. A big reason as to why automated agents are used is because they save time by doing the tasks for the humans quickly and efficiently. According to Robert Osborne of Microsoft, there are two application scenarios. One is user interaction, which communicate with humans. The other is user assistance, which helps humans with their tasks. Automated agents are just starting to be dipped into. Only a few companies have started using it in the past year or so. There is no way of knowing for sure what will happen with the usage of automated agents, but one can predict.

Prediction of the new trend:

The way that we consume media is always changing with the constant updates to technology. New inventions and innovations are made, and people adapt and create new trends, naturally increasing efficiency start up. With all of this happening, predicting what new media trends will survive long enough to become profitable and effective is extremely difficult.

In the article, “Property Simple: Automated Social Media Advertising for Real Estate Agents,” Nathan Lustig writes about a company, Property Simple, and how it uses automated agents to help real estate agents. The premise of Property Simple is to help save time for the real estate agents by automatically posting property listings to real estate agent’s social media pages. Lustig says their reasoning for this product is so they can save the real estate agent time from having to go though all of their social media pages to update them with the new property listings, increasing efficiency and improving the bottom line of realtor companies that partner with Property Simple. This is just the start of something that has the potential to catch on with many media companies in the future.

In the future, people will be doing less and less work, and this will lead to people wanting to use automated agents to have work done for them. Automated agents will be used to make the content production and generation process smoother. With social media, it can be tough to keep up with posting relevant and interesting information about current events that are going on to listeners and potential clientele. People actually have other things to do in life that can sometimes keep them from processing and distributing information through social media. Having automated agents could fix this problem. When you cannot post something, it can post for you. Maybe it will even be able to do all of your posting, so you never have to worry about it.

In the entertainment industries, deals must be made for the musicians and actors/actresses. A lot of the time, disruptions during the negotiation process cause deals to be delayed or to even fall through completely. This directly affects the media content that we take in, whether if it is watching a television show or listening to a song, because if the deal does not happen then we, the consumers, will never be able to have that content. Automated agents can come in and take the place of human agents, and negotiate with each other for the contracts for the clients. The automated agents can use algorithms to decide what the fairest contracts would be, in terms of years and money. Using the algorithms for negotiating can help smooth out the deal making process. Fair prices can be made by the automated agents and their algorithms, which could allow for more deals to be made, generating more content for consumers. Raz Lin, writer of “Can Automated Agents Proficiently Negotiate With Humans?” writes that the designers of automated agents must consider the market that the agent will be used in before designing it. This is very necessary, as they will need to know exactly what they will be negotiating for.

Prescription for a media company:

Automated agents would be perfect for a media company like Twitter to use. Many people find themselves going to social media sites such as Twitter as their way of consuming information, ranging from news and current events to scores of sports games. Twitter is known as a place for people to consume information and to interact with other users. In order for automated agents to be used with Twitter, the agents would first have to learn what your habits are through combining available data shared by consumers. Data can be ascertained through what you tweet, retweet, and like.

The learning part of the process would have to be done very carefully, as it is obviously crucial for people to know that they can trust the automated agents to speak for them and post the correct content. People could definitely be nervous that automated agents could post something that is immoral on their pages, and that would look terrible for the human whose account the automated agent was tweeting for. That is why Twitter would have to be wise in how they use and apply the automated agents to people’s accounts.

After seeing your history and learning what your habits are, the automated agents could come in and tweet, retweet, and like posts for you. Doing this would allow people’s Twitter accounts to be more interactive and to operate at all times of the day. This would keep your account up-to-date with current events, which would give your followers better content to consume. The automated agents would be tweeting in real time as events are occurring, informing everybody about whatever is going on.

The automated agents on Twitter could possibly even interact with each other, not just with humans. The automated agents having conversations about what is going on around the world is also a perfect way for people to see what is happening. Interactions could be anything from liking each other’s tweets to responding to each other’s tweets if one automated agent had an update before the other. They could also ask each other questions that humans may be wondering as well. Human interaction with the automated agents would also be key to providing as much information as possible. If a person has a question for a Twitter account that is using an automated agent, they can tweet at them and ask their question and expect an immediate response.

People always want to consume as much information as possible. The use of automated agents could give Twitter the upper hand in being a reliable source of all different types of information for people. In doing this, automated agents can affect people’s lives. Twitter can be the go-to place for information. It can cut out having to go online and find content yourself, as you can just check your Twitter feed. It would be a very wise choice by Twitter if they were to choose to allow people to use automated agents with their accounts. Being the primary location for people to consume news and information would be amazing for them.