technical communication recap

TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for November 2, 2012

Halloween is over, and the second storm of the century has passed, leaving destruction, frustration, and remarkable resilience in its wake. As we move into November, it’s almost eerie that TechWhirl chose as our theme “Helping Society and Tech Comm,” with an eye towards exploring some lesser known edges of technical communication, such as disaster preparedness, accessibility, and using our skills in volunteer capacities. Fortuitous or serendipitous just don’t have the right connotation consider the struggles so many along the northeast corridor of the US are going through. But it’s a truly worthwhile subject to explore, and our Special Writers Unit has some fascinating content coming your way. Continue reading ...

automatic content

Can Computers Write? Advances in Automatic Content Production

In the summer of 1993, I had an enjoyable university summer job. The research interests of the institute that employed me included creating an artificial intelligence system that could produce automatic précis of legal judgments. The idea was that humans like me would create a précis by hand, by selecting enough sentences from the judgment that it provided a reliable summary. My selections were recorded, and the idea then was to use neural network software to learn from the work of the human editors so that the process of creating a précis could be automated. The researchers had uncovered certain linguistic insights. Continue reading ...