Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Web Secret 599: Can AI write a novel?

I recently read an article in the Atlantic "When an AI Goes Full Jack Kerouac."

It describes how graduate student Ross Goodwin set up a cobbled together AI apparatus, in a car, to produce the next American road-trip novel.

He narrates the beginning of the trip:
"The machine received its first jolt of inspiration just as soon as Goodwin and his traveling companions fired it up in Brooklyn. It wrote: 'It was nine seventeen in the morning, and the house was heavy.' For an opening sentence in a book about the road, it’s apropos, even poignant."
It was a beginning effort, producing beautiful, if not necessarily coherent prose: “A body of water came down from the side of the street. The painter laughed and then said, I like that and I don’t want to see it.”

By the way, the AI came up with the "painter" character which pops up periodically in the narrative.

It was a beginning effort...

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