ENGINEERING NEWS

Computer Journalism Start-Up Makes Wired UK’s ‘25 Big Ideas’ for 2012

Narrative Science, a company started by two McCormick professors that uses a computer program to generate news stories, has been included on a list of “25 big ideas for 2012” by Wired UK.

"An own goal by Liverpool goalie José Reina in the 90th minute allowed Arsenal to escape with a 1-1 tie on Sunday at Anfield,” begins the article in the science and technology magazine.

“Above is a typical sports story,” it continues. “Except it's not -- a machine wrote it.”

Narrative Science was started by McCormick’s Kris Hammond, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and Larry Birnbaum, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, to commercialize their program Stats Monkey, a software program that automatically generates sports stories using commonly available information such as box scores and play-by-plays. The program was the result of a collaboration between McCormick and the Medill School of Journalism.

To create the software, Hammond and Birnbaum and students working in McCormick's Intelligent Information Lab created algorithms that use statistics from a game to write text that captures the overall dynamic of the game while also highlighting key plays and players.

Partnership between the McCormick and Medill schools has also resulted in the Knight News Innovation Laboratory, a joint lab space in the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center where researchers use technology tools to create new media projects and better inform the public.

Read the Wired UK article.