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L.A. Times Journalist Explains How a Bot Wrote His Earthquake Story for Him

18
Mar
2014

At 6:25 a.m. Pacific Time on Monday morning, a 4.4-magnitude earthquake hit near Los Angeles. Database producer Ken Schwencke got the byline, but an interesting footnote told a different story:  This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author. Yes, a programmed bot helped prepare Schwenckes story for him. That was thanks to the Quakebot, an algorithm created by Schwencke that automatically takes any earthquakes over a 3.0 magnitude reported from U.S. Geological Survey and turns the information into a text story, adds a map, and sets a headline in the Times content management system.

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