Can a "robot journalist" aka, Narrative Science — a news-writing software program — actually put together a more complete story than a real sports journalist? According to NPR, the answer is: yes it can.
Apparently, the entire "computer journalist vs. human journlist" squabble started when sports site Deadspin noticed a poor retelling of a perfect game of baseball pitched by University of Virginia's Will Roberts on GWSports.com. Deadspin lambasted the story for not mentioning the game was a no-hitter until the second-to-last paragraph and not highlighting the fact that it was the first time a perfect game was pitched in the NCAA since 2002. Naturally, Deadspin assumed the story was cobbled together by a machine.
They were wrong. The story was written by a human. Yikes!
To prove that "robots" or intelligent computer software could actually do a better job at spitting out a news story, Kris Hammond, CTO of Narrative Science got hold of the "raw material" and "the numbers around the story," input it into their software and compared the original story against their machine produced one.
The final copy? More spot on, in terms of mentioning that it was a perfect game by the University of Virginia over George Washington University. But still no mention it was only the first perfect game since 2002. Guess you can't expect perfection from a computer.
In the words of Ken Jennings, when he lost to Watson, the IBM supercomputer, it might be time to "welcome our new computer overlords."
You can read the full Narrative Science generated story in the NPR link below.