Everyone loves a good story, right? I can’t count how many times I’ve “zoned out” during a presentation of some flavor, and my ears perked up right after the speaker uttered the magical words: “I have a story for you….”.
What can I say? I’m a sucker.
The act of storytelling goes wayyyyy back to the days of cavemen (and women) and their cave-drawn pictures of new technology (fire) and daring escapades (hunting T-Rex).
What’s most interesting is regardless of all our ‘progress’ over 1000s of years, storytelling is just as important a skill now as it was when Fred and Barney were next door neighbors. I’m sure these two have some stories to tell…..
Today, the emergence of the Internet and social media has led to massive information overload for most of us who are always ‘connected’. So, how in the hell can our brains filter through all the data?
Well, many of us think of ourselves as “nice, down-to-earth people,” but when filtering content, we’ll all easily “stick our noses in the air” at most of the information we encounter.
We should really call ourselves “Content Snobs.”
Our brains filter and “tag” information based on a variety of factors that differ among all of us, but generally speaking, powerful and effective storytelling is one major factor that will get us all to pay more attention.
So, when technology has created a problem for us (information overload) and we need an effective solution to this problem (storytelling), how do we go about applying the latter to the former?
Say it with me…..
This is where I introduce to you the very smart folks over at Automated Insights.
They’ve created a system that allows computers to automatically create narratives based purely on raw data.
Translation = They have computers authoring stories on their own!
We’re getting one step closer to Skynet everyday!
In all seriousness, Automated Insights is providing a really important service in today’s data-intensive world. As they state on their website, “compelling stories are not being told because it is too difficult to cost-effectively tell them.”
The sports industry (one of their main verticals), is the perfect example of an industry that is drowning in an ocean of raw data (I know, odd imagery) with little resources to effectively put this data into context and make it easily consumable and more enjoyable for sports fans.
For instance, did you know that Mr. Baseball’s home run total is half of what it was this time last season?
So, how does his lack of home run production affect his personal confidence and possibly the future contributions to his team? Hmmmm….I think we might need to dive into the deeper story in order to make at least a decent prediction.
Honestly, I think we’re a long way from computers providing the real “human touch” to storytelling, but *start obligatory Star Trek reference* I could envision a future where Androids, possibly named “Data,” are writing stories for us. *end obligatory Star Trek reference*