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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:49 PM

Washington Postís Truth Teller and the future of robots doing journalism

BY DAVID HOLMES
ON JANUARY 29, 2013

At some point in the history of letters, fact-checking went from a foundational part of journalism to a specialization practiced by few to a buzzwordy media trend, alternately praised and dismissed depending on what politician was getting called out. During the 2012 election, a race notable for its high levels of deceit, fact-checking was especially prevalent, and the Washington Post, along with Politifact and Factcheck.org, were leaders in the field.

Now the Post has debuted a real-time fact-checking program called Truth Teller. It transcribes political speeches using voice-to-text technology and automatically cross-checks the speakerís claims against databases of facts, half-truths, and lies. In one example, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy repeats the well-worn claim that taxing the rich will result in the loss of 700,000 jobs. As he says this, the word ďFalseĒ materializes in big red letters along with a link to a blog post where the Postís resident fact-checker Glenn Kessler debunks the claim.

To be clear, the program is still a work in progress, but the Postís executive producer for digital news Cory Haik told Poynterís Craig Silverman, ďThe goal is to get closer to Ö real-time than what have now. Itís about robots helping us to do better journalism ó but still with journalists.Ē

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http://pandodaily.com/2013/01/29/washington-posts-truth-teller-and-the-future-of-robots-doing-journalism/

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Reply Washington Postís Truth Teller and the future of robots doing journalism (Original post)
n2doc Jan 2013 OP
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #1
TxDemChem Jan 2013 #2
n2doc Jan 2013 #3
bemildred Jan 2013 #4

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:38 PM

1. Hard to see how the robots could do much worse than what we have now

Maybe they should run the pundits blitherings through this program too although I suspect that a sustained barrage of David Brooks' articles would let the magic smoke out tout suite.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:01 AM

2. Pundits would crash the program

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Response to TxDemChem (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 09:15 AM

3. It would be like the old 'Joe Isuzu" ads

Just leave "He's (or She's) Lying" on the screen the whole time.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 09:53 AM

4. I like it. Could even help revive the news business. nt

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