Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘originality’

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The ghost in the (writing) machine

Not long ago, we talked about the phenomenon of robots writing books. But those computer-authored tomes—with scintillating subject matter like Saltine Cracker were mish-mashes of text culled together from Wikipedia and other websites. Computers can’t write actual stories. Or can they? Enter Narrative Science, a Chicago-based software company teaching computers to do just that—well, news stories, at least. Wired explains that articles written by the company’s computer algorithm are already out there: The computer-written product could be a pennant-waving second-half update of a Big Ten basketball contest, a sober preview of a corporate earnings statement, or a blithe summary of […]

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Robots Writing Novels?

So a monkey typing into infinity will eventually produce Shakespeare—or so the theory goes. Maybe robots would be faster? The New York Times recently discussed the phenomenon of robots writing books. After an encounter with a robo-writer called Lambert M. Surhone—literally a computer churning out titles like “Saltine Cracker” and “Pagan Kennedy” from pasted-together online text—author Pagan Kennedy (yes) was fascinated and preplexed: Could robots ever be trusted to write original novels, histories, scientific papers and sonnets? For years, artificial-intelligence experts have insisted that machines can succeed as authors. But would we humans ever want to read the robot-books? Mechanized […]