The End Is Near: Robot Journalist Writes Better Story Than Human

A writer for GW University’s baseball team wrote a recap of a game they lost to UVA, and neglected to mention that the opposing team’s pitcher threw a perfect game—until the 7th paragraph of an eight paragraph story.

Deadspin guessed that maybe it was one of those newfangled computerized sportswriters, or (more likely) nobody reading the game recap on GWSports cares about what the opposition did, so the writer buried the lede.

So Narrative Science, which runs StatsMonkey, fed its program the scores from the GW-UVA game.

The result, as written from a GW perspective:

Kenny O’Brien did his best to change the outcome, but the sophomore couldn’t will George Washington past Virginia as the Colonials lost 2-0 at Davenport Field on Tuesday.

Kenny O’Brien gave the Cavaliers fits on the mound. Virginia managed just three hits off of the Colonials’ pitcher, who allowed no earned runs, walked two and struck out one during his four innings of work.

Twenty-seven Colonials came to the plate and the Virginia pitcher vanquished them all, pitching a perfect game. He struck out 10 batters while recording his momentous feat. W. Roberts got Ryan Thomas to ground out for the final out of the game.

Tom Gately couldn’t get it done on the rubber for George Washington, taking a loss. He went three innings, walked two, struck out one, and allowed two runs.

The Cavaliers went up for good in the fourth, scoring two runs on a fielder’s choice and a balk.

The same story from “neutral perspective” put the perfect game in the first graf.

Deadspin calls it “not bad.”

The human written story on GWSports is still slightly more readable, we think, but not by much.

Publish date: April 19, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT