Two Years Til Algorithms Write News Articles, Say Software Developers
Every media producer will need an automation strategy in the next two years, say companies who have created software that crunches numeric data into print-worthy prose.
What's the Latest Development?
A computer algorithm developed by the Chicago-based company Narrative Science has proven quite effective at crunching raw numeric data into readable prose, even varying headlines and an article's diction according to where the story is published. "While computers cannot parse the subtleties of each story, they can take vast amounts of raw data and turn it into what passes for news, analysts say. ... And with media companies under intense financial pressure, the move to automate some news production 'does speak directly to the rebuilding of the cost economics of journalism,' said Ken Doctor, an analyst with the media research firm Outsell."
What's the Big Idea?
It may seem creepy and perhaps conspiratorial for a computer to be writing what appears in your local newspaper, but because journalists are necessary to provide social context to whatever data is in question, objections to the writing algorithm have been limited. "Stephen Doig, a journalism professor at Arizona State University...said the new computer-generated writing is a logical next step. 'I don't have a philosophical objection to that kind of writing being outsourced to a computer, if the reporter who would have been writing it could use the time for something more interesting,' Doig said." The industry writing the journalism software says every media company will be partially automated within two years.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Universities claim to prepare students for the world. How many actually do it?
- Many university mission statements do not live up to their promise, writes Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a university designed to develop intellect over content memorization.
- The core competencies that students need for success—critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and cross-cultural understanding, for example—should be intentionally taught, not left to chance.
- These competencies can be summed up with one word: wisdom. True wisdom is the ability to apply one's knowledge appropriately when faced with novel situations.
This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now
To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.
A new study may help us better understand how children build social cognition through caregiver interaction.
Researchers at UT Southwestern noted a 47 percent increase in blood flow to regions associated with memory.
- Researchers at UT Southwestern observed a stark improvement in memory after cardiovascular exercise.
- The year-long study included 30 seniors who all had some form of memory impairment.
- The group of seniors that only stretched for a year did not fair as well in memory tests.