Media & PR

How computers are muscling in on writing news stories

From Wired comes another example of how robots are starting to write the news:

Every 30 seconds or so, the algorithmic bull pen of Narrative Science, a 30-person company occupying a large room on the fringes of the Chicago Loop, extrudes a story whose very byline is a question of philosophical inquiry. The computer-written product could be a pennant-waving second-half update of a Big Ten basketball contest, a sober preview of a corporate earnings statement, or a blithe summary of the presidential horse race drawn from Twitter posts. The articles run on the websites of respected publishers like Forbes, as well as other Internet media powers (many of which are keeping their identities private). Niche news services hire Narrative Science to write updates for their subscribers, be they sports fans, small-cap investors, or fast-food franchise owners…

Forbes Media chief products officer Lewis Dvorkin says he’s impressed but not surprised that, in almost every case, his cyber-stringers nail the essence of the company they’re reporting on. Major screwups are not unheard-of with flesh-and-blood scribes, but Dvorkin hasn’t heard any complaints about the automated reports. “Not a one,” he says. (The pieces on include an explanation that “Narrative Science, through its proprietary artificial intelligence platform, transforms data into stories and insights.”)

You can read the full piece in Wired here.

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