Sports agency SID, aexea test automatic writing of sports news

The leading German sports news agency Sport-Informations-Dienst (SID), a subsidiary of AFP, is launching a pilot project to test the automatic writing of sports fixture lists in conjunction with German technology partner aexea. The aim is to explore the possibility of producing sports news with technology which uses a data base and algorithms.

Thanks to semantic intelligence and using existing sports calendars, the objective is to automatically generate stories on fixtures in a flexible and varied way, which is not possible with existing technology. If the tests running in September are successful, SID plans to expand its product offer to include sport fixtures lists tailored to the needs of its clients, both media and non-media.

The project is studying the possibility of producing, from the same material, different fixture lists according to specific criteria (by sport, region or particular text formulations). This study will assess the quality and the feasibility of such production.

“I am delighted to launch this cooperation with aexea,” said SID managing director and chief editor Yacine Le Forestier. “SID is yet again on the cutting edge of the technological evolution in the media. The automatic generation of texts from databases is already a reality in the American media, particularly in sport and finance. The only way to see its real potential is to test it.”

He added that SID’s existing text service was not included in the test. “This pilot project is aimed at creating a new and additional service,” he said.

Saim Rolf Alkan, chairman of aexea, said: “We are pleased to broaden our existing portfolio to include journalistic products, particularly with a partner which is a market leader and has very long experience.”

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