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VIDEO: News at Seven Provides Personalized News Experience

News at Seven is a software system that automatically generates virtual news shows by collecting, editing, and organizing news stories from the Internet and presenting them via animated anchors using text-to-speech (TTS) technology.

Developed in the Intelligent Information Lab (InfoLab) in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University under the direction of Kristian Hammond, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and director of the InfoLab, News at Seven has seen many different iterations.

The first version, begun in May 2006, took 20 minutes to pull a popular news story and find related images. The second version, begun in May 2007, employed Flash, making the process much quicker. The latest version is designed to be more funny and focus on lighter news, like celebrity gossip and movie reviews.

The lab has also created a version for McCormick professors and graduate students that presents research done at the school on video screens in the lobby of the Technological Institute.

- Video by Emily Ayshford and Matthew Dalzell.