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Robot writes LA Times earthquake breaking news article
BBC Technology News ^ | Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | BBC Staff

Posted on 03/26/2014 4:48:59 AM PDT by Star Traveler

The Los Angeles Times was the first newspaper to publish a story about an earthquake on Monday - thanks to a robot writer.

Journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke created an algorithm that automatically generates a short article when an earthquake occurs.

Mr Schwencke told Slate magazine that it took around three minutes for the story to appear online.

"Robo-journalism" is increasingly being used in newsrooms worldwide.

The LA Times is a pioneer in the technology which draws on trusted sources - such as the US Geological Survey - and places data into a pre-written template.

As well as the earthquake report, it also uses another algorithm to generate stories about crime in the city - with human editors deciding which ones need greater attention.

Other news organisations have experimented with algorithm-based reporting methods in other areas, particularly sports.

The generated story does not replace the journalist, Mr Schwencke argued, but instead allows available data to be quickly gathered and disseminated.

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; computers; crime; earthquake; earthquakes; globalwarminghoax; kenschwencke; latimes; losangeles; robotnews; robotreporter; robotwriter; whatsthedifference
Well ... I guess we'll be seeing more "robo-writers" soon! Don't worry, I'm working on a "robo-reader ... LOL ...
1 posted on 03/26/2014 4:49:00 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: Star Traveler

Will it be programmed to express the liberal bias of women and children suffer the worst.


2 posted on 03/26/2014 4:51:34 AM PDT by Lets Roll NOW (A baby isn't a punishment, Obama is)
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To: Lets Roll NOW

“Will it be programmed to express the liberal bias of women and children suffer the worst.”

Yes, it’s the liberal bias algorithm default program.


3 posted on 03/26/2014 4:54:42 AM PDT by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: Star Traveler

Big deal. Robot writers have been working for the MSM in this country for years, and the output has been prolific since 2007, or so.

Think they’re called O-bots...


4 posted on 03/26/2014 4:55:09 AM PDT by DJ Frisat (Proudly providing the NSA with provocative textual content since 1995!)
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To: Star Traveler

Maybe they can build robots to buy their increasingly ignored rags.


5 posted on 03/26/2014 4:57:56 AM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: Star Traveler

There is no more than random journalistic accidents
in America where the MSM is IN BED with the undocumented
Communists and Moslem terrorists in power, abetted
daily by the EXEMPT, now-hated US Congress.


6 posted on 03/26/2014 4:58:38 AM PDT by Diogenesis
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To: Lets Roll NOW

“Will it be programmed to express the liberal bias of women and children suffer the worst.”

It will have a random access table. Bush’s fault, unexpected, unprecedented, Koch brothers, global warming, ultra-conservative Republican, warm-hearted liberal...


7 posted on 03/26/2014 4:59:51 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: DJ Frisat

Do you think they’ll rely on Auto-correct like it seems that a decent amount of modern journalists do these days?


8 posted on 03/26/2014 5:00:45 AM PDT by Antihero101607
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To: exit82

Take a look at the sourcing for each Free Republic thread ... it looks like the media we’re sourcing here ... :-) ...


9 posted on 03/26/2014 5:12:38 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: DJ Frisat

Then the computer algorithms ought to be orders of magnitude better! ... LOL ...


10 posted on 03/26/2014 5:14:15 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler
I wonder how long it took him to wring Who What When and Where out of the algorithm?
11 posted on 03/26/2014 5:14:36 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: Star Traveler

Well, there’s plenty of trained apes that could do a better job than the journolistas.


12 posted on 03/26/2014 5:16:58 AM PDT by newfreep
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To: Gen.Blather

You left out “fracking” (...soon to be responsible for lunar eclipses!)


13 posted on 03/26/2014 5:17:01 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Gen.Blather

The deal about a “computer algorithm” is that it can more easily be examined for a “bias” and verified to have one - than - one can examine a liberal writer’s brain ... :-) ...

It’s one thing to have a biased human writer, since they can deny it and try to cover it up - but - it would be IMPOSSIBLE to cover up a bias that was BUILT INTO a computer algorithm.

SO ... that ought to produce more UNBIASED WRITING ... the way I see it.


14 posted on 03/26/2014 5:17:48 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

Is it possible the robot could write just the facts with no bias pre-programmend in?


15 posted on 03/26/2014 5:18:08 AM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: newfreep

That makes for a “good quip” — but I would like to see you actually IMPLEMENT that one ... LOL ...


16 posted on 03/26/2014 5:18:59 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: G Larry

Omitting bias is bias


17 posted on 03/26/2014 5:20:26 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: G Larry

That would be the easiest way to write such an algorithm. To insert a bias - one way or the other - would be EXCEEDINGLY DIFFICULT, and would be very easily detectable.


18 posted on 03/26/2014 5:20:36 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Antihero101607
"Do you think they’ll rely on Auto-correct..."

Worse than that, they'll use 'Auto-PC' to replace terms like "illegal aliens" with "esteemed, super-patriotic guest workers", and a new tool: the 'Auto-Palinizer' that creates random stupid quotes that were supposedly spoken or tweeted by Sarah Palin.

19 posted on 03/26/2014 5:21:06 AM PDT by DJ Frisat (Proudly providing the NSA with provocative textual content since 1995!)
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To: Lets Roll NOW
funny! that's the first thing I thought of too!

I mean... the current crop of reporters are little more than robots anyway, spouting out the propaganda of the left.

I could easily program a robot to spout out the drivel leftist reporters say.

First: ignore all criminal stories where the perp is black, unless the cases has obtained some level of notoriety, and then only mention the specifics of the crime without mentioning the race of the perp.

2nd: Never mention Islam when reporting on terrorism.

3rd: Turn anything a Republican says into a charge of racism.

4th: If a charge of racism can't be leveled, accuse the Republican of being mean spirited.

5th: cover up, ignore, or make excuses for any offense a Democrat makes no matter how severe the accusation.

6th: When reporting on ANY natural event, link it to man made global warming.

7th: Report more on the poverty when Republicans hold office, and ignore it when Democrats are in office.

See, it's easy to program a robot reporter!

20 posted on 03/26/2014 5:22:17 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: bert

No writing with bias on side side or the other is still bias - and not all bias is bad. We don’t think our bias is bad here. But writing just the facts of the matter, without bias, allows the individual to actually “think for oneself” - and thus “insert” the bias that they have individually, you see.


21 posted on 03/26/2014 5:26:12 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

Actually, I was referencing Rumsfeld’s “quip” earlier this week.


22 posted on 03/26/2014 5:28:38 AM PDT by newfreep
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To: gleeaikin; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

The “weather radio” broadcasts have been entirely robotic for years, but that’s just a speech algorithm that repeats a fixed text that is continually edited somewhere by humans.

Thanks Star Traveler.


23 posted on 03/26/2014 5:44:23 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

It would be CLEARLY OBVIOUS when someone looked at the algorithm, too. ... :-) ...

You can’t as easily look into the “workings of the mind” of the liberal reporter. You can only see his results, on the output of the story.

BUT ... with a computer algorithm, you can CLEARLY SEE THE INTENT!


24 posted on 03/26/2014 5:49:56 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: newfreep

Ah .... yes, Rumsfeld is always good at those sound bites ... :-) ...


25 posted on 03/26/2014 5:52:11 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler
"SO ... that ought to produce more UNBIASED WRITING ... the way I see it."

Uh.... no. Not quite...

"...with human editors deciding which ones need greater attention."

26 posted on 03/26/2014 6:07:06 AM PDT by Hatteras
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To: Hatteras

I was talking about “within” the article.

So far I haven’t seen it reported that they are going to have Computer algorithm editors ... :-) ...


27 posted on 03/26/2014 6:09:34 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

Doesn’t matter what’s “in” the article if the editors decide it’s not going in the paper. A failsafe for any attempted wayward “thinking” a robot might try and pull. Can never be too careful...


28 posted on 03/26/2014 6:32:29 AM PDT by Hatteras
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To: Hatteras

If you notice ... this article went in quicker than any reporter could have detected the story, and then “written” about it.


29 posted on 03/26/2014 7:09:33 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler
The generated story does not replace the journalist, Mr Schwencke argued, but instead allows available data to be quickly gathered and disseminated.

Schwenche is wrong. Machines will replace most 'journalists'. It won't matter much to those of us on the right. Liberal bias will be programmed into the robots...

For example: If a crime involves a person with a "D" by their name, the term Democrat is not to be used until deep in the story. If an "R" is by a person's name in a crime story the term "Republican" will be used in the headline and first paragraph"...

If a violent crime involves the term 'black' that term will be dropped altogether. If a violent crime uses the term "white" that term should be used in the headline and first paragraph...

Etc. Etc.Etc. (Style book for Assh*les Vol 1 of a 50 volume set)

30 posted on 03/26/2014 8:43:12 AM PDT by GOPJ (NASA: N othing A bout S pace A nymore - - FreperClearCase_guy)
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To: GOPJ

That kind of algorithm can easily be spotted and exposed. You can’t hide that type of “programming” in the code.


31 posted on 03/26/2014 8:49:07 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

Democrats who run newsrooms would NOT bother to hide bias in code... they’re proud of their hate.


32 posted on 03/26/2014 8:54:07 AM PDT by GOPJ (NASA: N othing A bout S pace A nymore - - FreperClearCase_guy)
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To: GOPJ

True ... and then they would clearly be exposed ... once again ... :-) ...


33 posted on 03/26/2014 9:00:37 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

The best part of it is that eventually a system based on logic would break down if it was programed with liberal bias. Too many conflicts.

I’d like to see what happens when the first robot reporter gets fired for going off the leftist reservation.


34 posted on 03/26/2014 9:04:52 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: Star Traveler

These kind of stories are pre-canned anyway if it’s not a big quake. Earthquake of magnitude X struck at time Y with an epicenter of Z. Might as well automate it.


35 posted on 03/26/2014 9:11:51 AM PDT by discostu (Call it collect, call it direct, call it TODAY!)
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To: Gen.Blather
It will have a random access table. Bush’s fault, unexpected, unprecedented, Koch brothers, global warming, ultra-conservative Republican, warm-hearted liberal...

You forgot 'extremist' - a term ONLY to be applied to Christians, conservatives and libertarians...NEVER to Muslims, liberals, Communist or members of Occupy.

36 posted on 03/26/2014 9:15:08 AM PDT by GOPJ (NASA: N othing A bout S pace A nymore - - FreperClearCase_guy)
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To: Star Traveler

How is this different from “current practices?”


37 posted on 03/26/2014 9:38:38 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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