Within three minutes of LA being hit by an earthquake yesterday morning, the LA Times had a story up online. How? Quakebot, that's how.
Quakebot is program that was developed by Ken Schwencke, a programmer and journalist at the LA Times. Whenever an earthquake is detected above a certain seismic level, the software will take data from the quake and automatically plug it into a pre-written article. So when Schwencke woke up during the quake at 6:25 am, all he had to do was log on to the Times content management system, and review the article that Quakebot and already written. He hit publish, and boom—the Times had the first article up about the quake.
Here's what Quakebot wrote:
A shallow magnitude 4.7 earthquake was reported Monday morning five miles from Westwood, California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 6:25 a.m. Pacific time at a depth of 5.0 miles.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was six miles from Beverly Hills, California, seven miles from Universal City, California, seven miles from Santa Monica, California and 348 miles from Sacramento, California. In the past ten days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.
This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author.
Read more about Southern California earthquakes.