Home Coming to You Live from the Courtside…Robot Reporting!

Coming to You Live from the Courtside…Robot Reporting!

As if the journalism field weren’t crowded enough, robot reporters have hit the market with sports statistics company StatSheet’s automated sports reporting effort.

Beginning today, nearly 350 Division 1 college basketball teams will receive constant, in-depth coverage of their season in what the company is calling “the world’s first network of websites driven entirely by high-quality, automated content”.

We first looked at StatSheet last March, commenting that the writing on the site (which included phrases like “The Illini turned the game into a rout with four in the ninth inning.”) wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good for computer generated sports reporting.

StatSheet Founder and CEO Robbie Allen told us by email that “This is truly a first in the media world – every site will be updated in real time with long form narrative content generated automatically from our system and at no incremental cost to us.”

The effort will be driven by real-time sports statistics and a database of more than 500 million statistics. Each teams site will not only include these automated articles, but photo and video highlights, its own Twitter account, Facebook Fan Page and mobile application.

“For many of these teams (like Lamar),” wrote Allen, “this will be the first time their fans will have access to the kind of comprehensive coverage typically afforded only to the top programs (like UNC).”

To take a look at some robot-generated journalism, go ahead and visit StatSheet and take a gander.

Allen assured us last time we spoke with him that he wasn’t trying to replace human reporters, but simply augment their coverage.

“There are going to be times that any writer can outperform a computer,” he said, “but when you look at the breadth it’s going to be hard to beat a computer.”

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