Artificial Writing

Anthony Lee Collins briefly mentioned this article in one of his blog posts, and I was intrigued. Now computers can help you write your fiction using artificial intelligence. The very notion of this gets me really pissed off because I’m already annoyed by Gmail’s new feature that tries to write your emails for you.

Supposedly, the software mentioned in the article won’t write the entire story for you. You have to give it some kind of jumping-off point, and it will suggest phrases. Still… seems like cheating to me. Or a weird kind of “found poetry,” where you didn’t write the words but really just reorganized them into something that makes sense.

This was the scariest line in the article: “Megasellers like John Grisham and Stephen King could relatively easily market programs that used their many published works to assist fans in producing authorized imitations.”

I suppose “authorized” is the key word, but even so, the whole thing sounds like fanfiction at best and plagiarism at worst. If I was a well-known author, I would not allow my work to be copied like that, even though imitation is the highest form of flattery.

What do you think of AI helping with writing?

8 thoughts on “Artificial Writing

  1. 1) Thanks for the plug.
    2) I’d forgotten the line in the article about Grisham and KIng. I think you’re right — why would they? It seems like the bigger danger is what happens after they die. For example, there’s now a fourth “The Girl Who…” novel about Lisbeth Salander (and a movie) because the original author inconveniently isn’t around to generate more product.
    3) Speaking of which, I’m thinking now that one way AI writing tools could be used (or maybe already is… 🙂 ) is in movie scripts. So many of them are so formula-based already, having them generated by machine might be the next obvious step.

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  2. It’d sure help me get through #NaNoWriMo! Nah, but seriously, here’s what I wrote in that WIP yesterday. “What we call imagination is usually the result of neurons misfiring. AI is programmed to never misfire, so it cannot have imagination.”

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  3. Considering what passes for pop music today I’m not surprised that this is where they would aim their algorithms next. Yes, I sound like an old fogey in typing that sentence but as I possess a music collection that spans 18th/19th century classical to the 1920s-2000s I feel qualified to say that when I listen to what passes for Top 40 today I can’t change the channel fast enough. Auto-tuned mumbled nonsensical naval-gazing.

    So now they’ve given up putting a thousand monkeys in a room with typewriters to write the works of Shakespeare and are firing up their Mac. I guess there really is an app for that.

    Pink Floyd was right in 1975 when they sang “Welcome to the machine.”

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