I always hoped that if I was going to be replaced by a robot, it would look something like the one in the Terminator movies. Instead, thanks to Narrative Science, I’m going to be replaced by a lowly piece of software.
Narrative Science, a software company based in Evanston, Illinois, has developed technology that “transforms data into high-quality editorial content.” Great. I thought that’s what I had been doing for the last 25 years as a technical communicator. What’s next, an iPhone app that writes Moby Dick?
Actually, Narrative Science’s software is pretty cool. It’s already being used to create sports articles based on uploaded game stats. Check out this example on GameChanger (and some background on the GameChanger and Narrative Science deal here).
Also, check out this comparison at Business Week. See if you can pick out which of the three examples was written the evil job-stealing robot Narrative Science software, and which was written by the poor beleaguered human writer.
Narrative Science is looking to expand beyond sports stories to create narratives from all sorts of structured or unstructured data. Possibilities include financial reports, real estate listings, and so on.
I don’t know how far this type of technology will go. But to be on the safe side, I think I’ll start developing skills in a backup career. Perhaps robot repair?