The rise of robot journalism

Neo-luddites despair, for algorithm-based journalism is set to become more widely available, according to a MediaGuardian report.

US sports statistics website Stat Sheet has announced plans to produce completely automated sports content, and others are following suit.

Stat Sheet says it is “in the process of writing a sports blog so easy you don’t have to do anything at all”, and believes 90 per cent of its readers will believe that a human created its content.

A programme called Stats Monkey “analyses changes in win probability and game scores, and picks out the key plays and players from any game”. Match stats are used to fill in the blanks in a ready-made script generated from a database loaded with a variety of lines to cover all outcomes.

It’s comparable to the sort of system used on data-driven games such as Championship Manager, added to provide a semblance of realism.

Stat Sheet says its seminal platform will play a “big part” in providing reports of lower level sport that don’t usually get covered in the national media.

Elsewhere, scientists at the Intelligent Information Laboratory in Illinois are working on an automated news project called News at Seven, a virtual newscast complete with cartoon newsreaders. Check it out below:

(Source: MediaGuardian)

This article appears in issue 247 of Media Digest.

Image taken by Flickr user jeffedoe, licenced under Creative Commons.

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“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”


Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.


(Source: POLIS)

 

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