Minor League Baseball reports by the Associated Press are written by machines

ap uses ai for sports writing baseball pitcher
Aspen Photo / Shutterstock
Wondering when “the machines” will take over? Anyone who writes for a living, or those considering it, should consider this a heads up. The Associated Press is using machine-generated stories to cover baseball, according to Venture Beat. The reports and stories aren’t for major league teams, but they do expand the AP’s minor league coverage without deploying (and paying for) additional journalists to attend and write about the games.

The AP has already been using financial reporting from Automated Insights, an artificial intelligence company. The Durham, North Carolina firm employs algorithms in a platform called Wordsmith A.I. to “transform raw data into actionable stories and insights,” Venture Beat reported two years ago. The Associated Press also backed the firm financially in 2014.

Automated Insights uses data about the minor leagues from a separate news, game, and player statistics company, Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM). The raw statistics are converted into sentences that describe and analyze games.

In an example of an Automated Insight-generated story from a recent game between the State College Spikes and the Brooklyn Cyclones, copy about individual player performance and overall game analysis reads naturally. “Dylan Tice was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded with one out in the 11th inning, giving the State College Spikes a 9-8 victory over the Brooklyn Cyclones on Wednesday,” the story opens.

In another example, the “machine” put the game results in a larger perspective, “Despite the loss, six players for Brooklyn picked up at least a pair of hits. Brosher homered and singled twice, driving home four runs and scoring a couple. The Cyclones also recorded a season-high 14 base hits.”

Venture Beat reported that Automated Insights’ Wordsmith generates other copy covering e-commerce and real estate, as well as sports and financial transactions. Another sign that the AP is going forward with machine-based writing is the hiring of its first automation editor. The AP said at the time it “has committed to ‘explore additional automation technology solutions’ in conjunction with Automated Insights.”

Cars

Chevrolet’s 2020 Corvette gets supercar specs and tech without the price

Chevrolet completely reinvented the Corvette Stingray for the 2020 model year. While the first seven generations of the car came with a front-mounted engine, the eighth-generation model switches to a mid-engined layout.
Movies & TV

Skip the sunshine this summer and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Gaming

From the very best to the worst, here are all the Pokémon games ranked

With Pokémon Sword and Shield en route to Nintendo Switch later this year, we decided to rank the first seven generations of Pokémon games from best to worst. Which generation made us want to catch 'em all the most?
Deals

Amazon drops $150 off of the fantastic LG V35 ThinkQ notch-less smartphone

Although otherwise aesthetically pleasing, playing videos on notch-display phones is loathsome because the it blocks the screen. One of the handfuls of phones that did not copy this trend is LG’s V35 ThinkQ. Order it on Amazon for $300.
Emerging Tech

Astro the dog-inspired quadruped robot can sit, lie down, and… learn?

Move over Spot! Researchers from Florida Atlantic University have built a new dog robot called Astro. Thanks to deep learning technology, it promises to be able to learn just like a real dog.
Health & Fitness

We spit in a ton of test tubes to find the best and most unique DNA tests

DNA tests aren’t just limited to ancestry. You can test for your risks for certain diseases, the best workouts and diets for your health and fitness, and more.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Racing drones and robotic ping pong trainers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Artificial tree promises to suck up as much air pollution as a small forest

Startup Biomitech has developed an artificial tree that it claims is capable of sucking up as much air pollution as 368 real trees. It could be a game-changer for cities with limited free space.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover now has a rotating array of drill bits for sampling Martian rock

Most the key components in the Mars 2020 rover are installed and ready to go. The next phase of construction was to install the bit carousel, an important mechanism for the gathering and sorting of samples from the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects landing site candidates for OSIRIS-Rex to sample asteroid Bennu

Last year, the OSIRIS-REx craft arrived at asteroid Bennu, from which it will collect a sample from the asteroid to be brought back to Earth. Now, the NASA team has selected four potential sites to choose from for the sampling mission.
Emerging Tech

NASA wants to send two more missions to Mars to collect rock samples

With its Mars 2020 mission, NASA hopes to collect samples from the surface of the planet. The challenge is how to get those samples back to Earth. Now, NASA has revealed its plans for two followup missions to Mars.
Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.