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.
Our third annual Source #Botweek will kick off April 25, 2016, bringing another batch of automation-related project teardowns and walkthroughs, bot-centric how-tos, and considerations of the challenges and implications of bots in newsrooms.
Our now-traditional #botweek closing peers inside our metaphors and the fragile magic of the bots we make, use, and love.
A roundup of the little bots that make daily research and administrative tasks easier and more fun.
It started as a joke and turned into hashing through thousands of Net Neutrality comments the hard way, then building a chatbot to post them and interact with curious readers.
When and how to say goodbye to the bots when something has gone terribly wrong…or when no one’s really laughing anymore.
A Node-based Twitter bot, one easy step at a time—plus the way John Keefe teaches basic botmaking to class of journalism/design students.
Meet our Twitter bot that follows a list of users and retweets them when they mention a certain topic.
Offloading some of a burden of continuous human monitoring to a friendly bot can be just the comfort you need on a cold Election Night.