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Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?

Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?
Had Narrative Science — a company that trains computers to write news stories—created this piece, it probably would not mention that the company’s Chicago headquarters lie only a long baseball toss from the Tribune newspaper building. Nor would it dwell on the fact that this potentially job-killing technology was incubated in part at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Those ironies are obvious to a human. But not to a computer. At least not yet. For now consider this: Every 30 seconds or so, the algorithmic bull pen of Narrative Science, a 30-person company occupying a large room on the fringes of the Chicago Loop, extrudes a story whose very byline is a question of philosophical inquiry. And the articles don’t read like robots wrote them: Friona fell 10-8 to Boys Ranch in five innings on Monday at Friona despite racking up seven hits and eight runs. OK, it’s not Roger Angell. Hammond assures me I have nothing to worry about.

http://www.wired.com/2012/04/can-an-algorithm-write-a-better-news-story-than-a-human-reporter/

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10 Drop-Dead Easy Ways You Can Use Storify to Create Compelling Content Storify has been around since 2010 and has gained some traction with users but it’s not really been a bloggers dream tool until it released its iPad app earlier this year. Sure, there are similar curation tools out there, but nothing quite like Storify that allows you to take text, documents, videos and images, alongside social media content in a clean vertical like this story by Mike Cassidy called What Facebook’s $38 IPO price means to the rest of us: The reason this is so cool is that the drag-and-drop curation keeps all of the original links and functionality…and then embeds them into your post. Then add your commentary: You can then search in Storify using keywords that it will uncover content for you.

How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love “Find something more important than you are,” philosopher Dan Dennett once said in discussing the secret of happiness, “and dedicate your life to it.” But how, exactly, do we find that? Surely, it isn’t by luck. I myself am a firm believer in the power of curiosity and choice as the engine of fulfillment, but precisely how you arrive at your true calling is an intricate and highly individual dance of discovery. Will Robots Replace Our Pastors? (I usually write about God’s hospitality over at my main blog, A Friendly Emptiness, but this topic grabbed my attention and lured me back to this–otherwise unused–blog. Enjoy! –Wayne) I, like most bloggers, usually focus my posts on the issues everybody’s talking about. 10 ways journalists can use Storify When Storify appeared on the collective journalism screen a few weeks back at TechCrunch Disrupt, it inspired a lot of oohs, ahhs and speculation as to how it would work for journalists. There are similar curation tools out there, like KeepStream and Curated.by, though they focus primarily on collecting tweets (Correction: KeepStream also allows for Facebook integration). Storify, on the other hand, allows a user to organize various media (text, documents, video, images) and social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) into an orderly, linear presentation. The story pieces retain all of their original links and functionality – and the full presentations are embeddable on any site.

More time means more money: the link between creativity and time To Our Faithful Current.com Users: Current's run has ended after eight exciting years on air and online. The Current TV staff has appreciated your interest, support, participation and unflagging loyalty over the years. Your contributions helped make Current.com a vibrant place for discussing thousands of interesting stories, and your continued viewership motivated us to keep innovating and find new ways to reflect the voice of the people. We now welcome the on-air and digital presence of Al Jazeera America, a new news network committed to reporting on and investigating real stories affecting the lives of everyday Americans in every corner of the country. You can keep up with what's new on Al Jazeera America and see this new brand of journalism for yourself at

Why superintelligence can be dangerous (Opinion) Machines have surpassed humans in physical strength, speed and stamina. What if they surpassed human intellect as well? Science fiction movies have explored this question. In the classic "2001: A Space Odyssey," astronaut David Bowman, played by Keir Dullea, struggles for control of the spacecraft against the sentient computer HAL 9000.

Bugs in Google Chrome let websites listen to your conversations Google’s popular Chrome search engine might be doing more than helping you find websites — it might be helping websites find and listen to you through the microphone in your computer. TalAter.com reports the search engine’s voice recognition functionality can be compromised by websites that allow Chrome users to navigate their site via voice. The problem is once you give Chrome permission, the websites you’ve visited retain that permission — even if you’re not on the site, allowing them to tap into your computer’s onboard microphone and listen in at any time.

Understanding & Growing Your Creative Mind Pt. 1/3 This is a very difficult and abstract topic. Even though it’s one we know well, there is no question the core aspects of this concept are difficult to grasp. Creativity is a foundational and highly celebrated part of our reality and a critical factor of many modern-day careers, passions and hobbies. Many of us desire and celebrate this phenomenon, but the foundational aspects can be elusive.

Believable Agents and Intelligent Story Adaptation for Interactive Storytelling Interactive Narrative is an approach to interactive entertainment that enables the player to make decisions that directly affect the direction and/or outcome of the narrative experience being delivered by the computer system. Interactive narrative requires two seemingly conflicting requirements: coherent narrative and user agency. We present an interactive narrative system that uses a combination of narrative control and autonomous believable character agents to augment a story world simulation in which the user has a high degree of agency with narrative plot control. A drama manager called the Automated Story Director gives plot-based guidance to believable agents. The believable agents are endowed with the autonomy necessary to carry out directives in the most believable fashion possible. Agents also handle interaction with the user.

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