How I built a WineBOT for NBC News’ Today show that’s powered by a hashtag battle.
Bots have been making the news more and more lately, partly due to the underlying technology becoming more common, and partly due to bots becoming rampaging racists. PCWorld recently suggested that 2016 may be “the year of the bots.” But if you read the article, all the examples are of chatbots—bots, to be sure, but only a subset.
Here’s the second half of our report-back from Austin’s code convening, introducing five more bot-centered open source projects from our participants.
The @choochoobot is a Twitter account that posts emoji trains sweeping through emoji landscapes. Here’s what it tells us about making bots these days.
Code convenings have been regular events on the OpenNews calendar for a little more than two years now, each of them bringing a small group of designers and developers together to work on projects that fit a particular theme. Given a chance to step away from normal routines and daily deadlines, participants spend a couple days writing code and documentation before releasing fresh open-source projects and updates into the journalism community. The Austin event earlier this month definitely was our largest so far, with nine projects. It was a fantastic mix of people, with developers and designers from all sizes of news organizations, and fields like education, finance, and civic tech. Here’s what everyone is working on.
At Vox Media, data science and data engineering are working together to build products with editors’ and journalists’ needs in mind. One such experimental product is a Slackbot that enables editors to discover relevant content on demand.
The Platte Basin Timelapse Project started in March 2011 with the goal of placing timelapse cameras throughout the basin and documenting time passing along one of Nebraska’s most important water resources. Now, they have more than 40 cameras placed, each taking photos during daylight, every day, every hour, all year long. Over the life of the project, they’ve gathered more than a million images and terabytes of data.
The best PunditBot can do is imitate cable-news pundits or sports commentators filling airtime with useless predictions, largely because it lacks a human’s domain knowledge and ethical drive to use journalism to inform democracy and craft a fairer society. My experiment with PunditBot makes me bearish on independent robotic journalists (and bearish on human TV pundits) but I’m optimistic for a future of human-robot journalism teams.
Bots encapsulate how data and computing can work together, in journalism. And when we use bots to teach concepts and skills in computational journalism, we’re actually teaching two kinds of thinking: editorial and computational.
Today kicks off the third annual Source Botweek, our yearly push to document the newsgathering bots, Slackbots, Twitter bots, and other automated creations that have emerged from newsrooms in the last year—and to check out a few extras from the makers of less practical/more adorable bots.
Chances are, you probably think your mind works pretty well. But, in reality, our brains fool us all the time with blind spots and biases. So what can we do about it? Let’s examine how graphics, including charts, interactives and other visual tools, can help show us the shortcomings of our own minds.
The Coral Project hosts its first hackathon, plus SRCCON call for proposals deadline this Wednesday.
As part of my research with the Tow Center, I investigated the geographical and demographic data around how Uber works in D.C., to find out if its wait times varied by neighborhood (and, as a result, by demographic). Here’s how I did it.
Here’s a few things we loved recently: beautiful data, inspiring investigations, a boring winter, and six spoonfuls of sugar.
As the ICIJ-led consortium prepares for the second major wave of reporting on the Panama Papers, we spoke with Mar Cabra, editor of ICIJ’s Data & Research unit and lead coordinator of the data analysis and infrastructure work behind the leak. In our conversation, Cabra reveals ICIJ’s years-long effort to build a series of secure communication and analysis platforms in support of genuinely global investigative reporting collaborations.
Introducing The Record, the Marshall Project’s compendium of reporter-curated criminal justice links.
From a pure reading of Ohio Revised Code 149.43 (B) (2), it would seem that anyone who walks into a public office should run into public employees who are prepared to handle record requests and able to turn them around quickly, if not immediately. Though I had not tried before, my past experiences with email record requests made a speedy, question-free response from an OU office seem like a fantasy. We wanted to test the results.
The International Journalism Festival kicks off this week, while we’re looking for your pitches for SRCCON this July.