Algorithm to write stories, read by Essay Grading Software?

First came the software to write stories based on data collected:

Once Narrative Science had mastered the art of telling sports and finance stories, the company realized that it could produce much more than journalism. Indeed, anyone who needed to translate and explain large sets of data could benefit from its services. Requests poured in from people who were buried in spreadsheets and charts. It turned out that those people would pay to convert all that confusing information into a couple of readable paragraphs that hit the key points.

Then came the essay grading software:

The EdX assessment tool requires human teachers, or graders, to first grade 100 essays or essay questions. The system then uses a variety of machine-learning techniques to train itself to be able to grade any number of essays or answers automatically and almost instantaneously.

The software will assign a grade depending on the scoring system created by the teacher, whether it is a letter grade or numerical rank. It will also provide general feedback, like telling a student whether an answer was on topic or not.


Just a prelude to the battle to figure out the loopholes in both with each trying to game the other?

via Four short links: 9 April 2013 – O’Reilly Radar.

Steve Jobs on New Product Development

New Product Development explained simply:

…there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do. Or factories do. Or robots do.

via Quote: You know, one of the things that really hurt… by Travis Jeffery of 37signals.

Returning to Jurassic Park in 3D

You know that the raptor is going to jump and just miss her, but that doesn’t really help your heart when you’re watching the IMAX 3D version even though you’ve watched the movie umpteen times since its release nearly 2 decades ago. The scenes are just as spectacular and the T-Rex just as majestic. The colours do seem a bit faded compared to the recent movies, but the overall experience is just as good.

And then of course, there are the quotes. My favourites:

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

– Dr Ian Malcolm


Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.

Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man … woman inherits the earth.


John Hammond: All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked.

Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.


Alan Grant: Mr. Hammond, after careful consideration, I’ve decided not to endorse your park.

John Hammond: So have I.