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The Washington Post will use Robots to cover the Rio Olympics 2016

The Washington Post announced today that it will use artificial intelligence to report key information about the Olympics.

The software will contribute The Post’s coverage of Rio 2016 by posting raw data and short updates, while a team of human reporters will provide readers with analysis and more in-depth articles.

Heliograf, as the team calls its robot reporter, will take information from sports data company Stats.com and turn it into short narratives.

Starting tomorrow morning, these multi-sentence updates will appear in the Post’s live blog, on Twitter at @WPOlympicsbot and via the Post’s bot for Facebook Messenger. An audio version will be available on Amazon Echo. 

The goal is to post more than 300 stories on the live blog and 600 updates on Twitter, Echo and Messenger during the Olympics, said Jeremy Gilbert, director of strategic initiatives at The Washington Post. The live blog will feature updates not only from Heliograf, but also from the Post’s correspondents in Rio and the sports team in DC.

Heliograf has a safety mechanism to check the data, explained Sam Han, engineering director of data science at the Post. The systems analyzes the data automatically; if any potential error or suspicious results are identified, Heliograf reports them to the editorial staff.

The software was developed in-house starting six months ago by using data from primary elections during the testing phase.

source: Washington Post

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