Texts about election results written by a robot. Sme daily tried a rare experiment

The Sme daily provides election results for every municipality in Slovakia.

The editorial room of the Sme daily.The editorial room of the Sme daily. (Source: SME)

An experiment that has not been tried in Slovak journalism yet. This is how the team of the Sme daily called the automated system that helped it write stories about the February 29 election results in every single village across the country.

Since there are nearly 3,000 municipalities, a reporter would not be able to write so many stories. This is why the editorial team decided to use robots to write the texts. They can all be found on the website, and it is hard to spot the difference.

“We think it is a good service to our readers,” Ondrej Podstupka, Sme’s deputy editor-in-chief, told The Slovak Spectator.

As he explained, people are interested in these kinds of texts and during the previous elections, they always searched for texts about results in the respective town or village. Graphs were not enough.

How did it work?

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