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Jun 25 2012 - 01:53pm
Data Visualization: Using Algorithms to Generate Prose
Journalists and bloggers beware - computers may soon be better than you at your job. Narrative Science, an intuitive analytics company, uses computer algorithms and artificial intelligence technology to produce lucid Associated Press-style articles based on data. Currently, Narrative Science is most adept at creating articles covering sports or business - topics that draw directly from sources of quantifiable information such as box scores or financial reports. But Narrative Science's scope and quality of content could grow quickly. Founder Kristian Hammond, a former professor at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, predicts that a computer-generated article will win a Pulitzer within 5 years and that within 15 years, 90% of all news articles will be written by computer-algorithms. How will this impact the instruction of writing? Perhaps as algorithms grow more sophisticated, they could be applied to reverse engineer student writing samples. Given an article written by a human, they could identify weaknesses in the prose and provide stylistic or content-based suggestions for improvement, as well as suggestions on relevant data and information to include. On a broad scale, writing instruction may place greater emphasis on fields such as investigative journalism or creative writing, areas that algorithms presumably cannot emulate as effectively. Though maybe not for long.
|By: Felix Chang|1463 Reads