Artificial Intelligence Goes Novel

Computers could soon take over the New York Times Best-Seller list.

Bots programmed with artificial intelligence have picked up pen – metaphorically speaking – and started writing novels. Advantage computer: they don’t get writers block.

As a brave new world of literature dawns, it is no longer solely the product of imagination and word-smithing. It’s coding and keystrokes now. That can be intimidating or inspiring depending on your point of view, which is a uniquely human thing.

Garrett Grams is a writer of science fiction who embraces and celebrates an unexplored horizon of possibilities. “I love it. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see where it goes. Artificial intelligence doesn’t need to be a scary thing. It’s kind of like our next evolution,” he tells KTRH News, explaining that he sees computers as a tool to enhance the writing experience, not a replacement of the writer.

A computer, Grams explains, can be fed the details of each of the seven Harry Potter books and be able to come up with an eighth. But it still requires a human to write the first books and a human to teach the computer how to imitate sentences, paragraphs, and chapters, so we haven’t been edited out of the final draft yet. It’s in the creativity of forming a character with insightful human qualities that computers lose their way. Grams says it comes down to art.

“Humans create it for humans. I think it’s always going to need that human touch to send the story home. The same thing goes for painting, sculpture maybe; art is made by humans for humans,” Grams says.

Artificial intelligence is being used to write news stories (not this one), scientific papers, and non-fiction already. It seems inevitable that creative humans will be test the margins of technology writing fiction, as demonstrated in Japan where a novel titled “The Day a Computer Writes a Novel,” written by artificial intelligence, programmed by a human, won a literary award. But whether technology unassisted by a human mind can rise to the level of William Shakespeare remains to be seen.

To be, or not to be. That is the question.

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