Improved News Generation Bot, Valtteri 2.0 – Soon Reporting Both Crime and Election News

During early Summer of 2018, the Immersive Automation project will debut Valtteri 2.0. This will be an improved version from the election news generation bot that we released in April 2017 (see http://www.vaalibotti.fi). In addition to language improvements, Valtteri 2.0 will showcase its ability to generate news articles in a new domain, i.e., crime statistics, as well as be able automatically generate visualizations to go with the article. For example, Valtteri 2.0 will be able to write an article on the current state and on interesting trends of motor vehicle theft statistics in any municipality in Finland.

Crime has always interested the public.  On a typical day, crime and justice stories make up 15% of the reported news (Katz, 1987).

Often, however, crime news reported in newspapers might give readers misleading, exaggerated, or biased notions of crime. In other words,, news does not always present crimes in the proportions in which they are actually committed (Graber, 1979), whereas looking at data in context may give give a completely different picture.

Using data to paint an accurate picture motivated this second version of

Mockup of Valtteri 2.0 (Source of text and graphic is Statistics Finland)

Valtteri. The prototype is currently being implemented and is planned to be ready in early Summer of 2018. Similarly to Valtteri 1.0, version 2.0 will take in structured data, this time extracted from Statistics Finland, analyze the data, and generate  hundreds of thousands of news article  as a result – an impossible feat for human journalists. In addition, users will still be able to select the news they would like to read and be able to interact with the included visualizations.

Vatteri 1.0, showed us the possibilities and gave us experience in automatically generating natural language news articles from structured data. However, no systems exist which we know of, that automatically generate news from criminal offence statistics, let alone in  multiple languages. Stay tuned for the release of Valtteri 2.0!

References:

  • Katz, J. (1987). What makes crimenews’? Media, Culture & Society, 9(1), 47-75.
  • Graber, D. A. (1979). Is crime news coverage excessive? Journal of communication, 29(3), 81-92.

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