A1 Journal article (refereed)
Recycling a genre for news automation : The production of Valtteri the Election Bot (2020)

Haapanen, Lauri; Leppänen, Leo (2020). Recycling a genre for news automation : The production of Valtteri the Election Bot. AILA Review, 33 (1), 67-85. DOI: 10.1075/aila.00030.haa

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Haapanen, Lauri; Leppänen, Leo

Journal or series: AILA Review

ISSN: 1461-0213

eISSN: 1570-5595

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 33

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 67-85

Publisher: John Benjamins

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.00030.haa

Open Access: Publication published in an open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/72593


The amount of available digital data is increasing at a tremendous rate. These data, however, are of limited use unless converted into a user-friendly form. We took on this task and built a natural language generation (NLG) driven system that generates journalistic news stories about elections without human intervention. In this paper, after presenting an overview of state-of-the-art technologies in NLG, we explain systematically how we identified and then recontextualized the determinant aspects of the genre of an online news story in the algorithm of our NLG software. In the discussion, we introduce the key results of a user test we carried out and some improvements that these results suggest. Then, after relating the news items that our NLG system generates to general aspects of genres and their evolution, we conclude by questioning the idea that journalistic NLG systems should mimic journalism written by humans. Instead, we suggest that developmental work in the field of news automation should aim to create a new genre based on the inherent strengths of NLG. Finally, we present a few suggestions as to what this genre could include.

Keywords: natural language; machine learning; text types; news; journalism; automation

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2020-12-11 at 14:07