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McCormick in the Media

Wired Magazine Features Computer Journalism Start-Up Narrative Science

Narrative Science, a company started by two McCormick professors that uses a computer program to automatically generate news stories, has been featured in Wired magazine.

The article, “Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter,” chronicles the challenges, accomplishments, and ambitions of the two-year-old company and illustrates how it could change the face of journalism.

“(E)ven if Narrative Science never does learn to produce Pulitzer-level scoops with the icy linguistic precision of Joan Didion, it will still capitalize on the fact that more and more of our lives and our world is being converted into data,” the article states.

Narrative Science was founded by Kris Hammond, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and Larry Birnbaum, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and was the result of a collaboration between McCormick and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

What began as software that could automatically generate sports stories using box scores and play-by-plays has grown into a 30-person company whose articles are published in Forbes and other Internet sites – many of whom, the article states, are keeping their identities private.

And the company’s reach is growing, the founders say; in 15 years, Hammond estimates, more than 90 percent of news will be written by computers.

Read the Wired article.