The Five Ages

The current state of the distant future

The Future: Empty of Content

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I learned yesterday (in the course of a conversation with Philip regarding stocks with potentially perilous valuations resembling that of CRM) about the concept of content farming, and the business model underlying Demand Media. I have to say, I found this article from Wired to be absolutely fascinating.

At the moment, it appears that Demand Media is relying on humans to generate their content. Their code parses frequent search-engine queries, and commissions endless “how to” and “top ten” pieces. While the writers of their articles appear to be real humans, the article assignments are done on a completely automated, completely algorithmic basis.

Clearly, the next step is to dispense with the actual human writers and commission computers to write the content. Based on our work with automated planet discovery and article generation using BAM, it’s pretty clear that NLG algorithms are not too far from being able to slip past Demand Media’s copy editors and quality control. Given that a lot of the necessary tools are open source, It looks like there might be a window of opportunity to outsource their article writing to computers before they get wise and start doing it themselves.

Once NLG is capable of generating something on order of the News of the World, I think that a Google-killer will be spawned.


Written by Greg Laughlin

March 2, 2011 at 2:29 am

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