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content generation software

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Content generation software is a type of computer program that produces articles, summaries and other content for publication.

A content generator takes input – such as financial data or sports details – and fleshes it out to yield reports, summaries and articles. The programs can produce content much more quickly than a human, which makes them useful for time-sensitive pieces such as sports and financial reports. A company called MarketBrief, for example, produces 1,000 articles a day – in just seconds each -- from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. A company called Narrative Science produces (among other things) brief reports on baseball and softball games -- within minutes of the end of the games -- for the Big Ten Network.

Sophisticated content generation programs rely upon a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and machine learning. The software learns key concepts and vocabulary specific to the content subject, including typical journalistic terms and phrases, to produce content that can be hard to differentiate from that written by a human.

Here’s an excerpt from a sports brief created by Narrative Science’s content generation software:

“Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in a 51-17 win over UNLV on Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers scored 20 points in the first quarter on a Russell Wilson touchdown pass, a Montee Ball touchdown run and a James White touchdown run.”

On the other hand, less sophisticated content generation programs often produce copy that is oddly worded and unclear. Here are a few sentences excerpted from samples provided by Quick Article Software:

“Online marketing is inevitable where increasing traffic on the website is concerned… While marketing online, one has to take utmost care to communicate with prospective clients. Also, one cannot afford to interfere with the personal space of anyone. Since, it is a highly personalized means of communication, one needs to take care while dealing with it.”

Software-generated content is sometimes referred to as robojournalism. The use of computer programs to perform tasks traditionally carried out by humans is known as software substitution

This was last updated in February 2012

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