Working in a publishing house as a  journalist during the US Election Day would sound stressful to most, as the pressure of staying up-to-date and leading in the race of publishing the results first is extremely high.

The Washington Post has sorted this issue by revealing that they have implemented Heliograf, a data-crunching program built in-house that will automatically update stories as the results roll in on Election Day, their website writes.

Through the help of AI, the WSP will be able to cover every House, Senate and gubernational race in the US on Election Day, to assist the team of 60 political reporters and help them provide detailed coverage of nearly 500 contests across the US.

Heliograf was first debuted during the Rio Olympics, and will now be applied again.

“We have transformed Heliograf into a hybrid content management system that relies on machines and humans, distinguishing it from other technologies currently in use. This dual-touch capability allows The Post to create stories that are better than any automated system but more constantly updated than any human-written story could be,” said Jeremy Gilbert, director of strategic initiatives at The Post.

The focus of the reporters will be on the high-profile contests as well as races that are expected to be close, or pivotal.

“This will give readers Washington Post-quality coverage at all levels but will also be used to alert reporters to things that they may not see, or draw their attention to a particular race that they didn’t expect to be a close one,” Jeremy Gilbert said.

Heliograf enables post editors to add reporting, analysis and colour to stories as an addition to the text written by the ‘bot’, and editors are also able to overwrite the text if necessary.

“The future of automated storytelling is the seamless blend of human reporting and machine generated content,” Dr. Sam Han, director of data science at The Post told their readers.

”The Post’s sophisticated artificial intelligence is the connective tissue that allows us to combine these different sources and to power Heliograf so that it can write highly personalised stories for the benefit of journalists and readers alike.”

WSP appears to be very excited about the potential of combining journalism with artificial intelligence, and they strongly believe that this will serve as a great benefit for the journalists and their readers.

“We have just begun to scratch the surface on what is possible with artificial intelligence,” said Shailesh Prakash, chief technology officer at The Post. “Smart technology is an area we will continue to invest in and embed into every engineering system that powers The Washington Post and our Arc technology partners.”

Read the full article at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/pr/wp/2016/10/19/the-washington-post-uses-artificial-intelligence-to-cover-nearly-500-races-on-election-day/

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