Narrative Science was founded by researchers from Northwestern University, who discovered they could use computer algorithms to generate basic sports stories. They still do that, but have added dozens more clients, including financial services companies, retailers and government intelligence agencies.
They’re not the only ones doing this. Automated Insights, in Durham, N.C., was founded by a former Cisco engineer and also started with sports stories. Some companies are innovating on their own. The Los Angeles Times developed a computer program that writes barebones versions of stories about earthquakes and local crime, pulling information directly from government websites.