1. KJRid
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    KJRid New Member

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    So this happened in a Japanese writing contest

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by KJRid, Apr 5, 2016.

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/japanese-ai-writes-novel-passes-first-round-nationanl-literary-prize/

    TL;DR A novel written by Artificial Intelligence made it through the first round of a literary contest.

    Granted, the A.I. is not as impressive as the article title made it sound, the human team behind the A.I. did a lot of the word and phrase-picking, but from what I understand the A.I. did piece it together. From a different article on the same subject I read 20% A.I. 80% Human.

    It seems to me, with all the data on the internet and the inevitable access a potential piece of artificial intelligence could have, it wouldn't be too farfetched to assume it to go through the process on its own.

    I did some more digging and realized that this is not a new thing, merely a more advanced version. A man named Philip Parker has over 200 000 books to his name that were created through a computer algorithm. I believe I also read somewhere that an established scientist (his name escapes me, I looked at so many articles in my daze) went as far as saying A.I. could replicate the human creative process in the near future.

    This worries me a bit, to be honest. In a way, I think science should stay away from the arts for the most part. Of course they have freedom to do what they want, but there seems to be certain implications for creative individuals.

    Thoughts? Are you worried? Think I'm being a bit paranoid? Should we rise up against the machines?

    Excuse any misunderstandings I had about the subject matter- I'm a humanities major ;).
     
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  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    This story is making me irritated at reporters. Several headlines say that the novel "almost won", while the detail says that it passed the first round of screening, of four rounds total.

    That sounds far, far away from "won".
     
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  3. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I thought that most Hollywood blockbusters were already written by AI?

    Or do I think this because there is too little realistic characterization in them?
     
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  4. KJRid
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    KJRid New Member

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    Yes, ChickenFreak, the title of many an article these days seems to be more 'click bait' than accurate. I did my best to straighten that out in my post. And yes Shadowfax, Hollywood blockbusters for a good part do seem to be based on algorithms for success already.

    But the main idea of this thread was about the fact that there are people consciously trying to build A.I. up to be able to replicate the human creative process, and whether the mere speed at which an A.I. (compared to human) could do such things would be troubling to those that make a living through creative arts. Does anyone see this happening? Is it troubling that people are actively trying to achieve this when the results would do so little in the wide scope of things?
     
  5. Doctore
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    Doctore Member

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    I don't see it happening, I really don't. I believe that one of the best and more human concious thing about writing is the ability to evolve as an artist and to show people the world the way only you can see it. You won't get that with a computer.
     
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  6. pyroglyphian
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    pyroglyphian Member

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    It's a matter of commercial viability. If there is demand for AI art then AI artists will prosper.
     
  7. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Go ahead and throw stones. I would like a program that could tell me where I have screwed up POV, tense, sentence tags, and a whole host of other grammatical aspects. Having an idea is the easy part of writing, at least for me, the actual ability to create a well written novel is an order of magnitude more difficult. I would never give up my camera for a paintbrush since I have no artistic talent but that doesn't mean I should deny myself the ability to capture an image, it will never be a work of art but it will serve a purpose for me. Assisted writing would be a tremendous asset for people like me, it is not needed or desirable for the real talent that I see on this forum, but not many are born with the gift to write well.
     
  8. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    I do know we're actually having this problem with music. They've made computer programs to make music based off of the latest trends to sell them. It's all abotu that money money money.

    And there's also some of this same controversy in Korea (I think that's the right country). Big production companies are picking and choosing certain girls to be in k-pop groups and choosing the songs and the stuff for them. It's completely commercialized at this point.

    Feel free to chime in if you have a better/more in-depth understanding. Just operating off of memory here.
     
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  9. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey, hey, we're the Monkees, And people say we monkey around. You are probably too young to remember the Monkees.
     
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  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I agree. For one we don't really have AI yet, we have fast computers. There is another element in conscious thought that AI research has yet to identify, let alone recreate.

    So currently an AI created novel would almost by definition be a formula novel, not a creative one.
     
  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    DOUBLE LIKES!!
    And randomization! Don't forget randomization.
     
  12. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    There is a ton of generic fiction on the shelves and selling, though. An AI may never replace writers of quality literature, but for generic commercial fiction I could see it happening some day.
     
  13. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    Writers being worried AI will take their jobs, really? Writing is probably one of the safest jobs if not the safest. Commercial airplane pilots could be replaced today, right now, its just the ethics of having a computer responsible for 300 lives that isn't there yet. Any assembly line worker is finished in 20 years. At the grocery store I always use the self-checkout because I don't like having someone touching my food. Truckers will be replaced by self-driving trucks. Farmers probably aren't that far behind. Even surgeons could feasibly be replaced in the next hundred years though that runs into the same problem with ethics as the airplane pilots. The only jobs that are safe are the one where the person has to create something. Scientists and artists are the ones who have to think, and having a computer enter the realm of creation means it has to rival the power of a brain. The brain is such a condensed and complex computer I don't see any silicon based technology achieving that any time soon. Not to mention even with people not everyone has the creativity or drive to be an artist or scientist. We don't even really know what it is about ourselves that allows some people to be creative while others aren't. Building a computer that could do it is just on a whole other level. While an algorithm might be able to produce a readable story, a great story is something that is much harder to create and the variables involved to do something that is truly unique isn't something I see a computer doing for a long time..
     
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  14. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    So some software engineers wrote a story, fed it through Google Translate from Japanese to English back to Japanese, then edited the results for clarity.

    And Taylor Swift gets a writing credit for adding "mm-hmm" to Shake It Off.
     
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  15. Indefatigable Id
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    Indefatigable Id Member

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    It is technically plausible, from an engineering point of view. Words are finite, there are only so many phrases that a computer would need to be able to handle in order to construct correctly written English. Granted, it's nothing more than a very elaborate game of mad libs, such a tool could be used to construct large sections of a very generic piece of genre fiction. I think the result would be bland, robotic and have a very mechanical rhythm.
     
  16. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    It was in Japanese the whole time - Google Translate is a nightmare that cannot even parse simple sentences. Without seeing the novel and reading it firsthand, I am going on the original story that states an original work written by humans and then fed and recombined through the program. It must have been better then that travesty "Marienbad" was if it wasn't instantly dropped on reading the first page - and naturally, it should if the text was recombined.
     
  17. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Clearly machine WILL better us eventually. But that's what we strive for, so we only have ourselves to blame.
     
  18. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    Writing a whole original book is something AI will be unable to do. They can make music though they already do. Just follow the patterns. Of course AI can be big help in writing Vampire YA novel or English murder mystery. It can write the basics and then "author" just polishes it.
     
  19. Mike Hill
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    Mike Hill Natural born citizen of republic of Finland.

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    Spice Girls, Destiny Childs, The Monkeys? This has been happening since the 50's in the USA and UK. Pop music is by definition commercialized. I just made a Finnish video to Youtube about this. People don't know how bad it has been for so long.
     
  20. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Here, i'll make this simple.

    Will ____'s eventually be replaced by robots? Yes.

    If we're lucky, our soon to be robot overlords will even let us stick around to experience the new jobs they make that we never could have handled.
     
  21. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    In one of my art history classes (this was in 1988) we got into a discussion about Stephen King (don't remember how that came about) and the professor said he stopped reading King's novels after he found out that King used a computer to write his stories. This prof was an otherwise-intelligent guy, but we simply couldn't convince him that using a word processor wasn't quite the same as getting the computer to come up with a plot and write a story.

    The media is the same way, even now. The AI could have been as simple as an advanced spell-checker/grammar-checker and the media could easily construe that into "computer writes a short story."

    There are so many abstractions involved in storytelling that I doubt AI will be much competition for humans for a very, very long time... if ever.

    Besides, we have enough to deal with without worrying about the encroachment of AI into the artistic domain.

    Besides, we should take heart in the fact that it took seven people behind the scenes (as it were) to make the AI do its job. ;)
     
  22. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    My mind filled in that blank with Smith. Then it changed the wording to "Will Smith's eventually going to be replaced in irobot? Yes." so the sentence made sense. Then I realized what the sentence was supposed to say. I guess my mind doesn't do "fill in the blank" to well in the first few minutes after I wake up.
     
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  23. pyroglyphian
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    pyroglyphian Member

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    Yet is the operative word. For instance a lot of people still view Google as a search engine, however it is well-publicised that the company is building an AI. Every time you search and click on a result you are 'teaching' it a little more about how to comprehend our reality, and with 3.5 billion searches per day it will not remain an embryonic intelligence forever. Imagine digesting 3.5 billion educational nuggets each day :eek:
    There is a term for this phenomenon though I can't remember what it is. With every advance in AI we are compelled to reconsider our nature, what it is that distinguishes us. Of course AI is advancing more rapidly than us, so to recreate our kind of consciousness - whatever that word means - may eventually come to be seen as being far below its capabilities.
     
  24. Sack-a-Doo!
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    This could easily turn into a philosophical debate as we creep closer to a definition of that indefinable something that is consciousness. Not to go all religious on you guys, but the missing ingredient, the indefinable something, is the soul. I have to call it that because science has yet to label it clearly enough to cross cultural barriers. IOW, there's no Latin name for it outside the Catholic Church. :)

    And it's also the reason why AI will never match human thinking/creativity. The soul is, to put it one way, the driver of the meat car we call a human being. AI will always need a driver to match what the soul/human combo can do because that's how we roll. The result? There can never be a truly artificially intelligent system. It may imitate thinking and maybe even creativity, but it'll never have that final ingredient.

    Why, you may ask? Because science has yet to recognize the soul let alone study it. And if/when science does, it'll turn out to be so elusive to measurement (science concentrates on things it can measure, right?) that it'll never be reproduced.

    Besides, theoretical physicists are the only people looking into the untouchable, unseeable realms and all the other scientists think they're nuts. Witness: Sheldon Cooper. :)
     
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  25. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think there is too much focus on what AI could never do, which is a lot in our current mindset. It is what will be achieved in the effort made that is more significant, when the USA set a goal to land a man on the moon the greatest return was not actually getting someone there but all the technological gains we made in the effort. An attempt to create a novel writing AI could develop tremendous tools for writing and this doesn't undermine the great writing of current, future or past authors any more than a photograph reduces ancient cave art ( I am viewing that as a form of writing ) or the great artistic works in the time since.

    I have a story in my head but am largely unable to capture it in writing because I don't truly have the skill nor the time to learn it well, a tool that brings me closer to achieving it should be welcome, IMO. My story would never be a best seller but that doesn't mean I would not enjoy seeing it in writing for my own gratification. I don't think I am alone in this thinking.
     

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