Please tell me this is an April Fool's gag

Subject: Please tell me this is an April Fool's gag
From: Steve Owens <uso01 -at- EAGLE -dot- UNIDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 11:02:31 +0700

> I just saw this in EDUPAGE, a general news list I get,
> and I am surprised, to put it mildly. The copy reads:

> A $100 software program called Sportswriter is capable
> of churning out reasonably good sports copy by
> intelligently stringing together words between facts.
> Some 80 small newspapers in the Midwest have purchased
> the program and are using it to cover high school
> sports events. (Wall Street Journal 3/29/94 A1)

> Snide comments about sports writing aside, this seems
> to push the bounds of automation tools. Have any of you
> seen such a thing?

I haven't seen it, but I'm not too impressed. I've done a
little small-newspaper writing, and on occasion wrote or edited basic
sports coverage for local high schools. At that level you're
basically converting a table of games/teams/scores/winner data to a
series of sentences, which would be quite easy to automate... Heck, I
could probably write such a program in a week, and add a lot of
variations (synonyms, substituting "slaughtered/massacred/demolished"
for "beat" and gauging the use according to the difference in the
scores, etc.) in a few more weeks.

Steven J. Owens
uso01 -at- unidata -dot- com

Previous by Author: Help!!
Next by Author: Planning a Help Project
Previous by Thread: Re: Indexes
Next by Thread: Please tell me this is an April Fool's gag

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads