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Politics

We Trained A Robot To Write Like Tom Friedman

To mark the 20th anniversary of Friedman's New York Times column, BuzzFeed has trained a robot to write like him.

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On January 1, 1995 — twenty years ago, today — Thomas L. Friedman published his first "Foreign Affairs" column in the New York Times. Since then, the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner has penned more than 1,700 dispatches, think-pieces, and taxi-driver interviews.

All together, Friedman's mighty corpus contains approximately 1.4 million words — enough language to train a robot to sound like him. So we did. The Tom Friedman Sentence Generator above uses a statistical technique known as a Markov chaining to generate random (if only somewhat plausible) sentences.

Want more random Friedmanesque pontifications? Follow @mot_namdeirf, a new Twitter bot that uses the same technique:

Jeremy Singer-Vine is the data editor for the BuzzFeed News investigative unit and is based in Washington, D.C. His secure PGP fingerprint is E2B0 63DB 0601 D634 1E9E F9AE 9F24 768F 9B4A EFB0

Contact Jeremy Singer-Vine at jeremy.singer-vine@buzzfeed.com.

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