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Why is Narrative Science SPEAKING at a conference?

I was reading an article recently, and something struck me as a bit odd. See if you can spot it.

Honeywell International Inc. boosted its position in shares of TE Connectivity Ltd (NYSE:TEL) by 0.0% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 278,900 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 100 shares during the period.

What journalist would go through the trouble of explicitly writing that an investor increased his or her stake by precisely 0.0%?

An automated one.

Now I have no idea whether American Banking and Market News is using Narrative Science, but it’s obviously possible. And despite the little oddity that I mentioned, the article is informative and mostly well written. Probably better than I could write. Strike that – definitely better than I could write. (Yes, James Macpherson, you were correct.)

This reminded me that I hadn’t peeked at Narrative Science in a while, not since the CIA’s investment arm increased its stake in Narrative Science by an amount greater than 0.0%. So I looked for the latest news on the company – and found this.

Narrative Science, the leader in advanced natural language generation (Advanced NLG) for the enterprise, today announced two speaking presentations at the Gartner Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit 2016 taking place on March 13th – 16th, 2016 in Grapevine, TX.

This news excited me, because if any industry could use automation, it’s the public speaking industry. Heck, if you could automate Larry Ellison’s “Next slide, please” statements, you could make a fortune. In my mind, I could picture Narrative Science’s informative, yet computer generated, keynote:

Hello, this is Narrative Science speaking through voice automation. Narrative Science would like to thank Gartner for the invitation to speak, and I would like to extend my greetings to the 2,127 registered attendees at this Summit, and especially to the 1,306 people who are in the room at this very moment. Based upon the survey results that Gartner has already received, I will tailor my speech to the needs of the audience. So at this point I would like to address the hotel staff – the rooms are too cold! I will pause for audience laughter now.

Imaging the possibilities after the data is mined and interpreted, and the “speaker” tailors a presentation for the specific needs of the audience.

Sadly, we are not there yet. As I continued to read the press release, I found this.

During this interactive session, Narrative Science COO Nick Beil will demonstrate Narratives for Qlik to show how the extension accelerates time to understanding and drives intelligence by delivering dynamic narratives that explain the insights within a visualization. Josh Parenteau, Gartner Research Director of Business Intelligence, will lead the discussion and host Q&A at the end of the session.

It appears that Narrative Science will use real people to fill the speaking slots.

How inefficient!

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