Machine learning in the wild -- #wins and #fails

  • Event: 2015 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Sarah Cohen of ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Steven Rich of The Washington Post; Janet Roberts of Reuters
  • Date/Time: Friday, Mar. 6 at 11:20am
  • Location: International 6-7
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

For several years, machine learning has been a tantalizing Siren for reporters, promising to sort through your documents and find the juicy ones, or providing a road map to the people and places in your collection. After a few experiments in the wild, we'll help separate myth from truth, unpack the confusing language of the discipline and provide tips about when it might, and might not, serve your stories.

The panel is good for: Anyone. No statistics or math required. This session will be most useful if you are seeking new methods in reporting original stories.

Speaker Bios

  • Sarah Cohen is the Knight professor of journalism at the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University. She previous worked as a reporter and editor for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Her awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, the IRE medal, the RFK award and the Goldsmith award. Cohen is a past Knight Chair at Duke University and a reporter in Florida. She is a past president of IRE.

  • Steven Rich is the database editor for investigations at The Washington Post. He's worked on investigations probing the National Security Agency, tax lien sales, asset forfeiture, policing and college athletics. He has been a reporter on two teams awarded Pulitzer Prizes, in 2014 and 2016, and on a team awarded a Peabody in 2018. Steven is a graduate of Mizzou and Virginia Tech. He was elected to IRE’s Board of Directors in 2015. @dataeditor

  • Janet Roberts heads the data journalism team at Reuters and has been wringing stories out of data since she was a student in Phil Meyer’s journalism class at UNC. Before Reuters, she worked at the New York Times, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Wilmington Star-News. She has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Journalism and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. @jersey_janet

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