Published in News

Journalist develops algorithm which allows PC to write newspaper articles

by on19 March 2014 1046 times

Ken Schwencke, the Los Angeles Times journalist and computer programmer developed an algorithm that is able to autonomously generate a newspaper report about an event just a few moments after the same happens. To start things off he focused on proven quality source of information, so he took a report on earthquakes from the U.S. Geological Survey, the thus obtained data used to populate the default form and create a newspaper article.

 

Just three minutes after the recorded earthquake, the news may appear on the LA Times website. In addition to data on earthquakes Schwencke's algorithm can use police data on crime and make brief statements about it. It is up to editor then to select only the most important news and publish them.

When asked is he not afraid for his job or of his fellow journalists, the author of the algorithm said that this robotic way of writing the news is not a substitute for a man, but rather an upgrade that saves a lot of time, helps in collecting the data and their organization, and ultimately promptly publishes key information.

[Ed – The funny thing about this is that it is almost a perfetct way of ensuring the actual facts in a story are not overlooked. Well at lest until the Human Editor selects „the most important news“...]

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Last modified on 19 March 2014
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