Further advances in brainless writing

There’s a new advance in the effort to write prose without any direct involvement of a human brain. Until recently, writing was thought to be a skill that required at least some levels of understanding. The first giant breakthrough was Professor Philip M. Parker‘s automatic book-writing machine, which has produced several hundred thousand books (and which we have described at length in a special issue of the Annals of Improbable Research). Many of those books are available for purchase.

Now comes news of the Narrative Science company of Evanston, Illinois. (HT Mary Carmichael for bringing this to our attention.) The text written on the company’s web site says:

Narrative Science transforms data into high-quality editorial content. Our technology application generates news stories, industry reports, headlines and more — at scale and without human authoring or editing. Narratives can be created from almost any data set, be it numbers or text, structured or unstructured…. [Our] technology cost-effectively turns facts and figures into compelling stories in real time

BONUS: Northwestern University says that Narrative Science co-founder Kris Hammond “says his more than $700,000 federally funded project that could produce humorous content is really no laughing matter.” [Click the image to see him in a television interview.]

BONUS: Business Week‘s take on the new company and its future.