Answer Key: Are Computers Better Journalists?

Lesson Plan: Are Computers Better Journalists?

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

  1. multitude |ˈməltəˌt(y)o͞od| noun-a large number: a multitude of medical conditions are due to being overweight.
  2. spawn |spôn|-verb-produce or generate, esp. in large numbers: the decade spawned a bewildering variety of books on the forces.
  3. algorithm |ˈalgəˌriT͟Həm| noun-a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, esp. by a computer: a basic algorithm for division.
  4. regurgitate tate |riˈgərjəˌtāt| verb-repeat (information) without analyzing or comprehending it: facts that can then be regurgitated at examinations.
  5. staid |stād| adjective-sedate, respectable, and unadventurous: staid law firms.
  6. sassy |ˈsasē| adjective ( sassier , sassiest ) informal lively, bold, and full of spirit; cheeky.
  7. output  |ˈoutˌpo͝ot| noun -the amount of something produced by a person, machine, or industry: the diverse range of Liszt’s output | efficiency can lead to higher outputs.
  8. stealthy |ˈstelTHē|  adjective ( stealthier , stealthiest ) behaving, done, or made in a cautious and surreptitious manner, so as not to be seen or heard: stealthy footsteps.
  9. indistinguishable  |ˈindisˈtiNGgwiSHəbəl|  adjective-not able to be identified as different or distinct: the counterfeit bills were virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.
  10. absorb |əbˈzôrb, -ˈsôrb|   verb-take in and assimilate (information, ideas, or experience): she absorbed the information in silence.

Reading Comprehension:Word Recognition

It’s understandable. Algorithms and natural language generators have been around for a while, but they’re getting better and faster as the demand for them spurs investment and innovation. The sheer volume and complexity of the Big Data we generate, too much for mere mortals to tackle, calls for artificial rather than human intelligence to derive meaning from it all.

Set loose on the mother lode — especially stats-rich domains like finance, sports and merchandising — the new software platforms apply advanced metrics to identify patterns, trends and data anomalies. They then rapidly craft the explanatory narrative, stepping in as robo-journalists to replace humans.

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage


If you can’t tell which was written by a human, you’re not alone.


Algorithms have been around for a while.


Books are robo-written, too.