Using the same principles of automatically assembling news media from various net sources, the experimental "News at Seven" in development at Northwestern University intends to do away with anchors, producers, editors, controllers, and every other carbon-based lifeform involved in broadcast news. Ignore the silly trappings of the clip above — like the Lara Croft-esque anchorwoman, who actually stops her narrative to kill a zombie, so cute — and focus instead on the newsgathering result. Images and video are pulled to illustrate the wire story at hand, complete with a cut to blog reaction. For some reason, the anonymous blogger copy is read by an old black guy in an alley, surrounded by armies of cloned suit-men passing by imperturbably. Oooookay. Sometimes the content selections really could have used a human touch, such as the lead for the story on Anna Nicole Smith's son's death, illustrated with Smith gleefully bouncing onstage during an awards show. Might not be ready to replace Brian Williams just yet, but there seems little material difference between this and, say, Rocketboom.

News at Seven [Northwestern University via Reuters]