A new field of artificial intelligence is coming into its own: translation and condensation of statistics into human-readable format. Here are two concrete examples. First, automated newscasts.

Automated journalism can basically be understood as search algorithms programmed to look out for certain key findings. then to put them into a certain structure. For a report on a football game for example, the StatsMonkey calculates the narrative based on the numerical data.

Using the score, the algorithm captures the overall dynamic of the game, highlights the key plays and key players, looks for quotes, and generates a text out of these elements. In addition, it configures an appropriate headline and a photo of the most important player in the game - and there goes a very rough sketch of a sports article.

As indicated, sports are definitely low-hanging fruit when it comes to stats-to-English translation. So second, how about an automated sports blog?

Now, I'm in the process of developing completely automated sports content, which will take the form of blogs. I'm not talking just a "stat of the day" or game recaps, but a lot more. I've identified 21 different types of sports stories that can be automated. You could say I'm trying to make the process of writing a sports blog so easy you don't have to do anything at all. My goal for these blogs in version 1.0 is that at least 90% of the readers think the content was created by a human. One of the nice attributes of algorithmic content is that it can be improved over time. A blogger/writer's internal script is pretty much set. They generally don't change or improve the quality or comprehensiveness of their content over time in a significant way, but algorithms can be upgraded continuously. The "voice" of the content can be improved.

Will automated content be the end of sports journalism or blogging? Definitely not. There are always multiple sides to every story. And of course there are some categories of news (e.g. breaking news stories) that can't be easily automated. I'd like to see an algorithm write a story about Tiger Wood's infidelities! However, it will take only a short amount of time to get to the point where the average sports fan can't tell the difference between human generated content and automated content.

Is automated content the future of sports journalism? It will definitely play a big part. Large sports media companies can't cover every team to the level they cover the most popular teams. But algorithms don't care about the size of your market. I can generate content that is just as in-depth for North Dakota State as I can Duke. Automated content will be a boon for smaller markets.

And so the use of artificial intelligence to replace white-collar workers marches on. I for one welcome our new robot overlords!

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