'I squirmed with joy, which I experienced for the first time, and continued writing excitedly.'
Before you leave this blog ( squirming) I deny all responsibility for the above sentence. It was composed by... a computer!
Let me explain. Eleven works of robot-assisted fiction were amongst the 1,450 entrants for a Japanese fiction competition recently. The Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award, named after one of Japan's most famous fiction writers, invited 'artificial intelligence programs' to submit their works.
The judges did not know which authors were human and which were robots, but were given a strong hint by the one quoted above entitled 'The Day a Computer wrote a Novel.'
According to the Times newspaper today, another entry entitled 'My Job' has a character asking 'Are jobs being cut, as cheap, clever, humanoid robots are replacing humans?'
One story, it seems, using 'sentences from inputs by its human masters' actually made it through the first round of the competition. Instructed to include the elements of time, weather and what the character was doing, it came up with the following:
'The clouds hung low that day in an overcast sky. Inside, though, the temperature and humidity were perfectly controlled. Yoko was sitting lazily on the couch, passing the time playing pointless games.'
The judges commended the story, though found it's efforts were 'a bit thin on characterisation.'
Phew - that's a relief!
Happy Easter everyone.