Outsourced news 2.0 – when Indian journalists are too danged expensive, turn to Narrative Science
Back in February 2009, I wrote two posts about southern California’s Pasadena Now, a news outlet that used reporters from India to cover events in Pasadena, California. I don’t know if they’re still doing this, but this article about the upcoming Doo Dah Parade is credited to “Staff Reports.” And frankly, this article could have been written in Bangalore just as easily as it could have been written in Pasadena.
James Macpherson’s goal is to efficiently provide the news to people in Pasadena, and if he can efficiently do that by using people from India, good for him.
Now a new technology is sure to strike fear into the heart of any journalist, reporter or blogger. Software is being developed that can use raw data—such as Twitter feeds, company earnings reports and baseball box scores—to automatically produce news articles that seem as though they were written by a real live human. For better or worse, welcome to the brave new world of computerized journalism.
The most prominent example is a startup called Narrative Science, which has made waves (and raised $6 million in capital) by pioneering computer software that analyzes these sorts of datasets and writes everything from stock advice to sports analysis.
Yeah, but can Narrative Science really write something? Check out this article from Forbes:
Forbes Earnings Preview: Red Hat
By Narrative Science
Shares of Red Hat (RHT) have climbed 23.8% over the last three months to close at $51.54 on March 22, 2012. The company is looking to keep that trend going when it releases its fourth quarter results on Wednesday, March 28, 2012.
What to Expect:
The consensus estimate is 20 cents per share, up 5.3% from a year ago when Red Hat reported earnings of 19 cents per share.
For the fiscal year, analysts are expecting earnings of 81 cents per share.
Revenue is projected to be $291.2 million for the quarter, 19% above the year-earlier total of $244.8 million. For the year, revenue is projected to roll in at $1.13 billion.