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Saturday, 31 March 2018

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. 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, another entry entitled 'My Job' had a character asking  'Are jobs being cut, as cheap, clever, humanoid robots are replacing humans?'

One of the entrants, 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 its efforts were 'a bit thin on characterisation.'

Phew - that's a relief!

Happy Easter everyone.

First published March 2016


WILLIE........! =^..^= said...

Goodness! Me! What is it now~a~days that
computers/robots can't do! I watch that
program called..Click..interesting, though
l only understand half of it! :).
But l did manage to read two books last year..
Finnigan:The Circus Cat and Finnigan and the
Lost Circus Wagon. From..Mary T Wagner..
I must try and read more...Now there's a
'novel' idea...! :).

Going off on a tangent Marilyn..Did you see
this back on the 21st March...

Well..l think l'll just squirm off and make
another lemon tea..So..A very Happy Easter
to you and yours..not to many eggs now,
don't want you cracking up...!!! :0).

Guernsey Girl said...

I had to smile at your reference to the latest Guernsey news, Willie. I did see the article and, though I think I qualify, I'm not sure it's something I want to shout about!!! ;) Great to hear from you, as always.

Elaineyross said...

Whilst I too am relieved that the computer generated pieces did not out strip those submitted by humans, I'm still asking myself "what was the point"? What are your views Marilyn?

Guernsey Girl said...

Although we may soon be able to holiday on the moon, it's still every author's nightmare for their job to be taken over by robots! Seriously, though, I think the experiment had a very good point to make. Human imagination is ours, and only ours, and let's hope it stays that way till the end of time. Without it, think how much poorer we would be.