Public notebook

Robo-journo beta open to all

The first report generated by software rather than a human reporter appeared in March last year. It was about an earthquake in Southern California.

Now a company called Automated Insights has made a beta version of its software available for anyone to try, says Wired:

Wordsmith, a platform that provides so-called robot journalists to organisations, is now available to the public.

The platform, owned by Automated Insights, provides “auto generated, data-heavy articles” on topics such as quarterly earnings and college sports. A beta version is available now on Wordsmith’s website, with a full launch expected in January 2016. The technology is already used by companies such as the Associated Press and Yahoo.

Anything that can be turned into a flow chart can be automated, as I heard Ben Hammersly put it at Learnfest this summer.

Public notebook

How many online petitions does it take…

Tracking online petitions…

Of 20,000 online petitions submitted to the UK government over 18 months:

…the vast majority of petitions do not achieve any measure of success; over 99 percent fail to get the 10,000 signatures required for an official response and only 0.1 percent attain the 100,000 required for a parliamentary debate.