Heliograf is an intelligent, automated storytelling system built by The Washington Post to write stories using real-time data sources. Heliograf monitors the data feed, crafts language, and instantly self-publishes across an array of channels like The Post’s website, apps, email newsletters, Twitter, the Amazon Echo, and Facebook Messenger. Heliograf lets The Post personalize our audience’s reading experience, expand coverage of major news events and more efficiently allocate resources — freeing its reporters add color, analysis, and insight to stories as only humans can.
For the 2016 election, The Post used Heliograf to write nearly 500 automated stories covering congressional races in every district, gubernatorial and senate races, summing up states’ voting and tracking slates of candidates. Sam Han, director of data science, will delve into the unique and collaborative relationship between The Post’s editorial team and the his team of data scientists that made Heliograf possible.