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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New reporter? Call him Al, for algorithm


Meet Al. He's a computer algorithm that writes the news.

The new reporter on the US media scene takes no coffee breaks, churns out articles at lightning speed, and has no pension plan.

That's because the reporter is not a person, but a computer algorithm, honed to translate raw data such as corporate earnings reports and previews or sports statistics into readable prose.

Algorithms are producing a growing number of articles for newspapers and websites, such as this one produced by Narrative Science:

"Wall Street is high on Wells Fargo, expecting it to report earnings that are up 15.7 percent from a year ago when it reports its second quarter earnings on Friday, July 13, 2012," said the article on Forbes.com.

While computers cannot parse the subtleties of each story, they can take vast amounts of raw data and turn it into what passes for news, analysts say.
Read the rest here
Yahoo! News Canada 

Judy Morris,
Blogger, THL
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