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Algorithm-driven content?

39304743_eca2585a54_zAt the beginning of the month, Automattic posted an April Fools announcement about a new service, AutoMatton, which would algorithmically create blog posts for you.

A friend sent over an article from the New York Times from last month that shows that this might not be too far from reality:

The Associated Press uses Automated Insights’ Wordsmith platform to create more than 3,000 financial reports per quarter. It published a story on Apple’s latest record-busting earnings within minutes of their release. Forbes uses Narrative Science’s Quill platform for similar efforts and refers to the firm as a partner.

Then we have Quakebot, the algorithm The Los Angeles Times uses to analyze geological data. It was the “author” of the first news report of the 4.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Southern California last year, published on the newspaper’s website just moments after the event. The newspaper also uses algorithms to enhance its homicide reporting.

If an Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You Even Know?
New York Times, March 7, 2015

About the author Sam Hotchkiss

Sam currently leads development on the widely used Jetpack plugin at Automattic, he's started and run multiple successful companies, and enjoys taking photos when he gets the chance. When they're not traveling, Sam and his wife, Becky, live in beautiful New Mexico, where he passes the time by talking about himself in third person.

All posts by Sam Hotchkiss →

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