Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait told his 2,400 journalists in a memo on Tuesday that he was forming a 10-person team to lead a study on how to use more automation in writing and reporting. Micklethwait called the robot-generated copy “smart automated content (SAC).” A company spokesman insisted no journalists will be sacked as a result of the SAC. “Why do we need you, if the basic idea is to get computers to do more of the work?” Micklethwait asked in the memo, obviously addressing an unspoken concern among his staff. “One irony of automation is that it is only as good as humans make it. That applies to both the main types of automated journalism. In the first, the computer will generate the story or headline by itself. But it needs humans to tell it what to look for, where to look for it and to guarantee its independence and transparency to our readers. In the second sort, the computer spots a trend, delivers a portion of a story to you and in essence asks the question: Do you want to add or subtract something to this and then publish it? And it will only count as Bloomberg journalism if you sign off on it.” “Done properly, automated journalism has the potential to make all our jobs more interesting,” he said. The 10-person group will be headed by Brad Skillman on the editorial side and “our automation czarina” Monique White in News Development.