Can artificial intelligence write a novel?

Books written by AI are now an imminent reality. But can they write the next big bestseller? And, is it art?

AI is already writing music, creating images for graphic novels and winning art competitions, beating humans. Next? Novels.

Books written by AI

One of the first experimental novels written by AI appeared as early as 2017. Called 1 the road, it was a Ross Goodwin experiment. It was written while driving from New York to New Orleans. Strangely, Google funded part of the cost of the project.

Goodwin was accompanied by a laptop-based AI connected to various sensors, whose job was to produce text. At the end of the trip, Goodwin left the text unedited. He even found a publisher – Jean Boite Éditions. Although he felt the text was “unstable” and had many typos, he wanted to save it for future study.

The opening sentence reads, “It was 9:17 a.m. and the house was heavy.”

Singularity Hub Thomas Hornigold said that although it was not a masterpiece, “you could see, in the odd line, the flickering ghost of something like consciousness, a deeper understanding”.

That of the Atlantic Brian Merchant said he read the book all at once, although there is no particular plot or story arc. But he said there were “striking and memorable lines”. Lines like: “All the time, the sun comes out of dark and bright ground.”

So as we move into the metaverse, and storytelling is part of it, how much of the metaverse gameplay or entertainment will be written by the AI? Potentially – all of it. But are we there yet? Will AI write all of our future books, movies, metaverse legends, and game scenarios? And should that worry us?

Blogs written by AI

Anyone who blogs for a living or anyone who produces content for marketing purposes has probably heard of AI assistants. These are websites that promise to write your blog content for you. The idea is that you type in a few key phrases and shape the direction of the content a bit, and voila! You have your blog made for you.

But don’t get carried away, it’s not quite the case yet. But we are definitely getting closer.

As a writer, of course, I would try that. I chose and paid for the subscription, which was around $50 per month. Considering I was already paying freelance writers to help me with different parts of my business, this seemed like a good deal. No lunch breaks, no holidays, no complaints, no questioning of my bad ideas… it’s a dream come true!

Until it doesn’t.

The first thing I will say is that these AI assistants can knock it out of the park. There are things they can do very well. I once asked to write me an article about knives, with recipe ideas. The AI ​​destroyed it.

However. I had to do a lot of formatting and “fact” checking. That is, sometimes the AI ​​was telling massive lies! Plus, it can’t do things like search for images and videos that lift the story and make it more interesting. So you need a human touch.

I figured out that using the AI ​​meant that I was producing that particular story twice as fast with the AI. which is great! But then…

Disadvantages of AI

I asked him to write me a story about the Eurovision Song Contest. This story was a bitter failure. This resulted in stats that were just blatantly wrong, such as Norway finishing last more than any other country. Poor Norway – I don’t know why AI has dragged the country so much. LEAVE THESE COLD PEOPLE ALONE.

By the time I checked everything out, I might as well have written the story from scratch. I later discovered that the AI ​​works by reading everything it can on the internet and then distilling “facts” from that. So if something is wrong on the internet, it will be wrong in your story.

All in all, I didn’t feel like it was saving my time… so I canceled my subscription. However, the tantalizing possibility of AI in the future is definitely here. I will come back to this decision in about a year. And even better – what happens when the facts don’t matter? Like when you write a novel? This is where we as a species can surely take risks with writing AI.

AI-written books: novels

Imagine being the author of a novel. You introduced your hot main characters. They’ve been struck by lightning or whatever they need to discover their superpowers…now what? Writer’s block!

Here, AI could help you break through a literary wall. While AI writers may not be welcome in the writing community, this is an interesting time. What if the writer gives up on this first block and the potentially fantastic novel never comes to fruition?

However, using AI, the writer could be newly inspired, set a new direction, and complete the novel.

Online, there is as much disgust as joy about this topic. Self-publishing influencer Arielle Phoenix says, “I can see how, in the wrong hands, these tools can lead to an influx of very poor quality books flooding the internet. But to be honest, it’s no different than hundreds of thousands of books with no content and very low quality content. And, the already terrible self-published music and of course all the videos about YouTube’s weird ending that have technically been self-published. Everyone has the ability to create content and the tools to do so. So, AI writers are not new in this regard. IMHO, AI writing tools are no different than something like Grammarly, which you probably didn’t know about or think of as an AI writing tool.

valentines day book

AI novels

Bjorn Schuller is Associate Professor of Machine Learning at Imperial College London. He says, “What humans are great at is integrating context and lending their holistic understanding of the world and what’s going on, doing an analysis of a situation.”

He says that with the natural language understanding of machines, we are not there yet. “When they read research papers, they lack context and sometimes don’t understand the gist of, say, irony or sarcasm, or other nuances between the lines.”

Schuller says, however, those gaps are slowly closing. “Emotional intelligence is at the forefront. And, at the same time, machines can mine big data and tap into all kinds of knowledge bases that a human doesn’t have the capacity to store. So when we think of a machine and a human, the machine can browse the whole of Wikipedia or similar platforms. Therefore, they will have a whole advantage to exploit more information.

Once the AI ​​has conquered conversational skills, it can then acquire creative skills. Then we enter the realm of AI producing poems, short stories and novels.

Schuller says that after this point, the AI ​​can come up with storylines. “It’s quite intriguing. The AI ​​has a big advantage over the human author because it can keep track of the characters it uses in its fiction very well.

The AI ​​remembers any potential flaws that could easily end up in a human-written story. “History can be perfectly verified at all levels by the machine.”

Schuller says despite what you may have heard, it’s still a bit in the future.

Nonsense AI

The progress…or non-progress…of AIs can be seen in this clip below. Jack Soslow threw two AIs together in a conversation. They said a lot of deep nonsense, but we can definitely feel the sexual tension between them. Is it the great romance novel of our time in the making? Not yet.

Today is spaceship day

In another experiment, a creator called Austin McConnell asked an AI to write a story, and he got a different AI to animate it. He says, “It seems like every day I hear or see a news story about how artificial intelligence is getting closer and closer to becoming indistinguishable from human beings. And while AI has certainly changed the face of automation, whether or not it can truly replicate the creative spirit remains to be seen. I decided to put this idea to the test. So, using an open source AI program, I plugged in several well-known stories, like the Harry Potter series, Star Wars scenarios, a few Stephen King novels, and even a mediocre young adult book written years ago by yours truly. . After the computer used them to learn to write, I asked the system to generate its own original tale.

McConnell says the story is ridiculous. But in fact, this is not the case. It’s definitely a little weird. But. Dear God, that’s oddly compelling.

Books written by AI: other experiments

In another experiment, a creator had a bot watch over 400,000 hours of horror movies. Then they asked the bot to write its own horror movie. The bot named the story, Mr Puzzles wants you to be less alive.

While it’s far from perfect, it’s also oddly compelling.

The same creators also created a Christmas movie that’s unintentionally hilarious. The bot called the movie “Carol’s Christmas Carol For Carol, A Woman Named Carol”.

You could literally fall out of your seat laughing watching this. The makers say it’s a “mathematically perfect holiday movie.”

Although AI-written books aren’t quite there yet, we’re very, very close. Again, the question must be asked, will the authors be obsolete? Will content writers be unemployed? Is an AI creation? Is it art? Will it bring joy? Are books written by AI the future? Let’s watch this space, before the AI ​​does it for us.

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About Herbert L. Leonard

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