Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
Feb 17–20, 2015 • San Jose, CA

Robot Reporters: How The Associated Press Embraced Data Automation

Adam Smith (Automated Insights)
1:50pm–2:10pm Friday, 02/20/2015
Connected World
Location: LL21 C/D
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

This session tells the story of how a young technology company helped The Associated Press embrace cutting-edge data innovation at the heart of its business: the automation of corporate earnings stories.

The challenges along the way offer valuable lessons for any brand engaged in a major data implementation – and any vendor who wants to help.

We’ll explore the process that led to AP’s summer 2014 announcement that it would “free journalists to do more journalism and less data processing” by automating 4,400 corporate earnings stories per quarter, up from 300 produced manually. Each step is a mini case study on topics such as:

Building Trust – How should Big Data vendors approach and close reputable brands like The Associated Press? How should established brands evaluate vendors, given that the best technology and team may come from relatively new ventures?

Understanding the Available Data – How should brands and vendors reconcile potentially different views on the underlying data, including the gap between the data that is available and the data that is needed?

Developing Shared Objectives – How to explore exciting possible uses for the data while focusing in on the most practical implementations.

Overcoming Objections – When a project makes a change to a core aspect of a brand’s business, objections are inevitable. For AP, objections came not only from technical gatekeepers, but also from skeptical journalists.

Photo of Adam Smith

Adam Smith

Automated Insights

Adam Smith is the chief operating officer at Automated Insights, where he is responsible for all areas of Automated Insights business, including the Wordsmith platform, new products, and professional service implementations. In addition to running company operations, he leads business development, partnerships and marketing for AI. Previously, Adam was an SVP at Square 1 Bank, where he launched a national division focused on pre-VC startups and advised hundreds of early-stage founders on strategy, sales, and fundraising, and was VP of at the CED, where he worked with the Kauffman Foundation and led development of FastTrac Tech, a world-renowned mentoring program for technology entrepreneurs.