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?

Thursday Three #43

  1. My thought on the Kavanaugh affair (well, on sexual assault in general): I honestly feel like some women are crying wolf for various reasons. It seems like something accidental or even looking at a woman the wrong way is now considered sexual assault if it is a painted a certain way. If that is really the case, then high school was one long, drawn-out assault, and practically every high school boy is an assailant. True, drawing the line is difficult, especially when it’s one person’s word against another’s, but the definition of “sexual assault” unfortunately tends to be flexible.
  2. Parenting books. Usually, if I tell someone I’m reading a parenting book, they start laughing because there is apparently nothing about parenting that can be learned from a book. But I find them useful because they seem to give at least an idea of what to expect, even though all the ones I’ve flipped through come with the caveat that “every child is unique. Don’t freak out if he or she doesn’t meet each milestone exactly on time.” OK. Easier said than done, I guess.
  3. Everybody needs to read We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas. I’ve read a lot of “realistic fiction,” but this book is by far the most realistic of all the realistic fiction I’ve ever read and one of the better books I have read so far this year. Yes, it is incredibly sad, but it’s sad because everything in it is true. Nothing is sugar coated. The book is pretty long, but it is actually a fairly quick read.

The World’s Pain, the Enemy’s Triumph

I’m sure everyone has heard about the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. These attacks no longer surprise me, and I find myself experiencing the same feeling of ennui that I got after hearing about what seemed like the millionth school shooting.

This has, sadly enough, become commonplace. It is and it will continue to be the new state of affairs for as long as our world leaders vacillate and talk and take no action against what is undeniably a threat. I have no words of anti-terrorism wisdom, just sadness because of the fact that nowhere is safe and a hint of disgust at how the enemy managed to win twice.

Ariana Grande is a children’s TV actress turned pop star, much like Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus before her. As such, she fell into the same downward spiral and became an icon of self-centeredness, coquettishly singing about sex and dancing and parties.

I heard that 9- and 10-year-old children were at her concert… children who never should have been there in the first place, because this is what they were listening to:

From the song “Love Me Harder”:

And if in the moment you bite your lip
When I get you moaning you know it’s real
Can you feel the pressure between your hips?
I’ll make it feel like the first time

From the song “Bang Bang”:

Bang bang there goes your heart (I know ya want it)
Back, back seat of my car (I’ll let ya have it)
Wait a minute lemme take you there (ah)
Wait a minute till ya (ah)

From the song “Side to Side”:

I’m talkin’ to ya
See you standing over there with your body
Feeling like I wanna rock with your body
And we don’t gotta think ’bout nothin’ (‘Bout nothin’)

We live in a strange world. It is sad and distressing that the terrorist may have focused on the Ariana Grande concert because perhaps he knew that children, the most innocent ones, would be there. But it is also sad that children’s parents allow them to listen to this kind of music with these lyrics.

I am praying for the victims, for the survivors, and for the world to come to its senses. We can’t let the enemy keep winning.