Organic narrative

20Feb12

A growing number of magazine, news and sports websites are using software to write their news stories. The software takes the bare facts and sews them together with a tight narrative thread.

I would hazard a guess that the same software would be capable of producing pithy, relevant and fact-filled papers for board meetings and management events. A well-designed computer program could almost certainly outperform many humans in producing concise and objective prose to link together a number of facts.

A machine would find it harder to produce the rich metaphors and images that create an emotional response and bring even the driest subjects alive. The machine-generated narrative thread would be a dry, cutting nylon compared to the warm wooly weft of human story-telling and humour.

This blog remains organic and home made.



5 Responses to “Organic narrative”

  1. I’ve tried many times to use spinning and article software to assist in writing. It just doesn’t work. Until such time as a machine can produce sentences such as “Grammar: The difference between knowing your shit, and knowing you’re shit”, we’ll be safe as bloggers 🙂

    • Jen – quite right. 🙂 But I try to slip grammatical errors into my writing from time to time just to show that I’m not a computer. Should I stop doing this?

      • Never. We need these intentional slips to differentiate ourselves from machines, I agree. It’s the equivalent principle of when I order a dessert from the local bakery for a dinner party, and then spend time roughing it up so I can pass it off as home-made, right? 🙂

  2. If I could find a machine to compile my weekly report for me I’d be very happy. I don’t need to worry about deliberate mistakes because no-one reads it. Obviously I just submit the same report every week but it feels like cheating.


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