The Machines are Coming! (at least in publishing)

Last week I spoke at the NYC Hacks/Hackers conference which was a pretty great gettogether of journalists and technology folks. I spoke about all the editorial tools that Kapost provides and got a pretty good response.

One other company that was there was a company called Narrative Science and they sort of blew my mind. This company takes formatted data – think of a baseball box score or census results – and algorithmically turns that data into a news story. So, a boxscore that used to just be 9 innings with numbers in it becomes this:

Michigan held off Iowa for a 7-5 win on Saturday. The Hawkeyes (16-21) were unable to overcome a four-run sixth inning deficit. The Hawkeyes clawed back in the eighth inning, putting up one run.


They are doing 1000 stories a week, and now that they have the template for baseball nailed, they are going into census data, crime information and other avenues that typically just produce data. It’s only a matter of time before SkyNet appears.

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