HAL? Are you writing the news now?

Wired Magazine reported recently that the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern is testing and touting the development of a computer program that seamlessly provides news stories based on the input of some facts “using pitch-by-pitch game data that parents entered into an iPhone app called GameChanger.”


As it turns out, news reports can be produced now by anyone who believes he or she observed something and who wants the world to know, and a computer program designed to arrange the “data” into standard news presentation.

Aren’t reporters trained to do a bit more than just collect facts and draft them into a standard form for easy reading?  I’m pretty sure I have more confidence in a report prepared by someone who does that job for a living.

Am I the only one afraid that well-intentioned, but misguided “parents” might abuse this little wonder?

Isn’t “data” just that thing that can be made up by those who want the world to believe something other than the reality experienced by others?


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