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Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Day a Computer wrote a Novel



Would you read a novel that began like this?

'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. Several works of robot-assisted fiction were amongst more than a thousand entrants for a Japanese novel competition recently. The Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award, named after one of Japan's most famous fiction writers,  decided to invite 'artificial intelligence programs' to submit their works.

The judges had no idea which authors were human and which were robots, but were given a strong hint by the one  above entitled 'The Day a Computer wrote a Novel.'

Another anonymous entry asked  'Are jobs being cut, as cheap, clever, humanoid robots  replace humans?'

One novel, using  'sentences from inputs by its human masters' actually made it through the first round of the competition. Asked 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!

(First published March 2016)

Happy Easter everyone.




7 comments:

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Happy Easter ! Funny about the "assisted" writing. Thanks for not forgetting me (())

Guernsey Girl said...

Would never forget you, Francie (my granddaughters love the spoon you sent me!) Keep safe. x

Barbara Fisher said...

My grammar checker wants me to write just like that! Perhaps I could become an overnight success if I allowed it to have its way.
I hope the Easter bunny visited you :)

Guernsey Girl said...

Funny you should say that, Barbara. Perhaps if we followed our spell-checkers we could all be best sellers! My Easter bunny brought strawberries and raspberries as I'm trying to get fit, but I did coat one or two of them in chocolate !! Hope you enjoyed Easter too...

Barbara Fisher said...

Strawberries and raspberries coated in chocolate are my idea of heaven! I'm trying to get fit too, but chocolate is my downfall. :(

Guernsey Girl said...

Here's to chocolate!

Nikki-ann said...

Robots are getting cleverer (is that a word?), but I don't think your job will ever be in danger. How can a machine really be creative?