‘Robot Journalist’ Out-Writes Human Sports Reporter

Sports journalism is full of colorful figures of speech, invented by writers who wanted to put a little variety into their writing. When given objective data about the game, a computer program has done a fairly good job of emulating sports lingo. The following story starts out by critiquing a sports news story that some skeptics assumed had been written by a machine.

The writer of that story — it turns out — was a living, breathing human being. But the creators of Narrative Science, a news-writing software program, took Deadspin’s assumption as fighting words. They set out to prove that their system could produce a better story.

“We actually got hold of the information director of the school, we got the raw material, the numbers around the story,” said Kris Hammond, Chief Technology Officer of Narrative Science. “And we fed it to our system, which wrote the story, where the headline and the lead were focused on the fact that it was a no-hitter. Because how could you write a baseball story and not notice that it was a no hitter? I mean what kind of writer or machine would you be?” —NPR.org » ‘Robot Journalist’ Out-Writes Human Sports Reporter.