This story is from the 2014 Access 25. Explore more from this issue

Robo News

Companies now use data and algorithms to “write” news content.

If you think that online story covering your son’s high school football game was posted at lightning speed, you’re not far off.

A newspaper can’t afford to send a reporter to every high school sports event or have meteorologists positioned throughout their coverage area, but new technology is allowing media outlets to affordably broaden and quicken the reporting of remote events.

Companies like Narrative Science, founded by Northwestern University journalism school graduates, have figured out how to use computer algorithms to write shockingly credible news stories on virtually any topic that comes with a dataset: sports, business, weather, for example.

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