Blog & News

The BBC publishes article detailing the successful launch of its journalism partnership with Arria NLG

By Arria NLG Team | March 28, 2019

Three weeks ago, Arria announced that the BBC, the world’s leading public service broadcaster, had joined the Arria family of new clients. Last week, the BBC published an article featuring the work they’re doing with Arria’s NLG technology. They’ve named the combined BBC/Arria effort “Salco” (Semi-Automated Local Content). The article is titled, “Stories By Numbers: Experimenting With Semi-Automated Journalism”.

Highlights from the article follow…

“You might have seen some stories on the BBC News website that say they were generated using ‘some automation’. BBC News Labs’ Roo Hutton explains how we’re experimenting with semi-automated journalism to bring you even more relevant local stories. …”

“Salco combines data processing, story generation and editorial approval into a simple ‘one click’ process that takes raw data and automatically generates rich local stories based on templates designed by journalists. … Automatically turning data into prose is known as natural language generation (NLG). For this project, we turned to Arria NLG Studio, a third-party tool that allows journalists to produce the complex templates needed to transform data into news articles…”

“The processed story model is downloaded from its S3 bucket and passed to Arria’s API, which generates a story for each row in the data using this template…[and] Salco generates a draft Vivo post for each generated story, combining the text from Arria and our IDT datapic. It then automatically tags the story with the location of the relevant NHS trust so it can be shown to the right audience. …”

“This initial pilot of Salco has been a success, fulfilling our initial aim to create the tools and processes needed to automate storytelling on a limited scale on the BBC News website.”

READ THE FULL STORY > BBC “Stories By Numbers” Article