Putting The "Art" In "Artificial Intelligence": Japanese Researchers Create A Book-Writing 'Bot

It seems we can't go more than a day without hearing about another job being taken over by a robot.  While their applications for manufacturing, gaming, navigation, food service, and concierge roles are effective, some 'bots in Japan are taking things to a whole new level.  Namely, passing themselves off as human author.

"Call me Ishmael-2000."
(Image courtesy www.easysystems.nl.)

According to Science Alert, an AI program in Japan has written a short story that progressed past the first round of a writing competition.  While not clever enough to create the plot on its own, when gives phrases and a bit of framework from researchers, the robot was capable of fleshing out the story itself.

The entry, entitled "The Day A Computer Writes A Novel", was submitted for the Nikkei Shinichi Hoshi Literary Award by a team of researchers from Future University Hakodate.  Of the 1,450 novels accepted, 11 were written with the help of artificial intelligence.  The contest openly allows non-human entrants to compete, and judges are not foretold of which works may have sprung from an electronic brain.

Without the benefit of alcohol and the severe malaise inherent to the human condition,
can robots still craft masterpieces?
(Image courtesy thetyee.ca.)

The work was considered well-structured, but had some problems with the character descriptions.  Fair enough, considering machines don't really know all that much about us (even though they hold all the data on us.)

Chief researcher Hitoshi Matsubara stated, "So far, AI programs have often been used to solve problems that have answers, such as Go and shogi...In the future, I'd like to expand AI's potential [so it resembles] human creativity."

All this AND artwork?  Humans, we're done for.
(Image courtesy grantland.com.)

Such programs are already attempting, with some success, to create articles on finance, sports, and novelist robots.  Another condensed a database of 4,000 political speeches to learn how to write them itself, using the repetitive themes and phrases as a touchstone for the new speech's tone.

Not that most politicians aren't robots to begin with.
(Image courtesy bizpacreview.com.)

This article was totally written by a human, BTW.  Seriously.

Beep.  {Program://end article.}

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