Article about AI as a tool for writing fiction

Eduardo Letavia

Troubadour
In The Verge they've published recently a long article about an AI-based fiction writing tool.
It's an interesting piece, where they talk about why some authors may require the use of such software, or the current limitations of this AI tool. They also put some examples of text the tool can return, one of which I cannot resist sharing here.

“Alice closed her eyes and sighed, savoring the moment before reality came back crashing down on them like the weight of an elephant sitting on them both while being eaten by a shark in an airplane full of ninjas puking out their eyes and blood for no apparent reason other than that they were ninjas who liked puke so much they couldn’t help themselves from spewing it out of their orifices at every opportunity.”

I understand the utility of these kind of tools, although I wouldn't use it specifically for writing the fiction itself but more for easing the rest of tasks suchs as editing. What do you think? Do you happen to use the software mentioned in the article or maybe something similar?
 

pmmg

Istar
I think the day is coming when an AI will produce art that is so near perfect non-AI types will not be able to compete. But that day is not here yet.

id not have written the sentence above but with feedback and analysis, the AI will be able to figure out how to write polished on the first go.

What happens when an AI finds that writing to please humans is not the same as writing to please other AIs?
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
I'm waiting for the day when we wrestle with the question of whether an AI should have "human" rights. I do believe we've been wrestling with the question of "what is human" for several decades now. If we manage not to devastate the planet, I think it will be the central question of the coming century.

As for what is produced, I don't really care. I write because I am compelled to write. The existence of other writers, regardless of their so-called humanity, is irrelevant to that. It's very much relevant to marketing, but that can be handled. Eventually.
 

Mad Swede

Inkling
Hmm. Let me think now. One of the authors supposedly using AI is self-published, and makes a living pushing out an e-book every 2 months. She's using the AI to up her production to 10 books a year, as this is one of the ways she maintains visibility and hence sales. Another is using the AI to produce sales and advertising copy. But does the AI make any opf their work more original? Does the AI do the plotting, the world building etc? Or does that still come from the author?

I'm not sure that the AI adds anything to the quality, nor that it will do so in future. It isn't really the text in itself which gets you published, it's the way you develop your ideas and characters within the various plots in the story. And that is all part of the preparation you as the author should be doing before you even begin to write. It's working out the ideas and characters which takes the time, not typing the story - and that is true even for me as a dyslexic author. I'm not sure AI will ever replace us in those roles.
 

Eduardo Letavia

Troubadour
I've realized that this thread is related to this other one, which is also about AIs. There I said that no current AI is truly intelligent, or concious or anything of the sort. Right now these tools are just very sophisticated software robots able to do very particular things very well (up to a point).

I think the day is coming when an AI will produce art that is so near perfect non-AI types will not be able to compete. But that day is not here yet.
I wouldn't say perfect, but just indistinguisable from the most common stuff churned at Amazon or similar stores. That's not to say that a fully developed synthetic mind wouldn't be able to write something that could compete with the best novels known in human history. Eventually that may happen but, as you say, it's still kind of far in the future (how far I cannot tell). Why far? Because creating art is not so much about the technique itself but the heart of it, and that implies feelings not just intelligence.
id not have written the sentence above but with feedback and analysis, the AI will be able to figure out how to write polished on the first go.
Exactly, polishing or helping you edit your piece much faster. In that sort of things is where I think current and near-future AI tools can excel and be really helpful for writers, although of course this capacity comes with the risk of eliminating editing jobs (or forcing them to upgrade themselves somehow).
What happens when an AI finds that writing to please humans is not the same as writing to please other AIs?
You've got there the seed for a scifi story!

I'm waiting for the day when we wrestle with the question of whether an AI should have "human" rights. I do believe we've been wrestling with the question of "what is human" for several decades now. If we manage not to devastate the planet, I think it will be the central question of the coming century.
I'd expand the question to what is a person, since human is just the term we refer to ourselves as an animal species. Nowadays, saying "human person" is considered a redundant expression, but the day we start having synthetic people among us or we even meet with another civilization, it won't be. We'll need to say human person, vulcan guy, synth/digital people, and so forth.
As for what is produced, I don't really care. I write because I am compelled to write. The existence of other writers, regardless of their so-called humanity, is irrelevant to that. It's very much relevant to marketing, but that can be handled. Eventually.
It could happen that certified human-crafted fiction becomes more prestigious, forcing those writers to show real superior skill to whatever is produced by AIs. This lead to AIs imitating those excellent writers that, in turn, would be force to improve themselves even more... Till reaching a breaking point?

What if I ask the AI of the future to write a horror story where it is the villain?
That's the second interesting idea for a scifi story we've got in this thread. We're on a roll here, people!

Hmm. Let me think now. One of the authors supposedly using AI is self-published, and makes a living pushing out an e-book every 2 months. She's using the AI to up her production to 10 books a year, as this is one of the ways she maintains visibility and hence sales. Another is using the AI to produce sales and advertising copy. But does the AI make any opf their work more original? Does the AI do the plotting, the world building etc? Or does that still come from the author?
Here is another article explaining in detail all the current functionality of Sudowrite, although if this tool lacks in something you can find other AI-based tools able to do exactly what the first one is missing (like research for instance). On the other hand, when I read about that author's production capacity it made me thing in pulp fiction. I remember reading about spanish authors able (or rather, forced) to write a one-hundred-pages novellas per week, a capacity that, regardless of the product's quality, I find rather impressive. And that was in the past century, on typewriters, and fueled with a lot of cigars.
I'm not sure that the AI adds anything to the quality, nor that it will do so in future. It isn't really the text in itself which gets you published, it's the way you develop your ideas and characters within the various plots in the story. And that is all part of the preparation you as the author should be doing before you even begin to write. It's working out the ideas and characters which takes the time, not typing the story - and that is true even for me as a dyslexic author. I'm not sure AI will ever replace us in those roles.
Maybe they cannot really add to the quality directly (as they stand nowadays), but these AI tools can make the author's job easier, which indirectly helps in the quality. Ideally, this technology and others should help us enhance ourselves (kind of like in the Dune saga, for instance), not replace us altogether. On the other hand, the replacement has already started...
 
Top