From recommending us on what to read, machines are now capable of writing poetry, screenplays and even stories. Computers have moved from only helping their human creator to become creative entities themselves using Artificial Intelligence.
To improve machine’s natural language, Google is also working with Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts. First step was to make software understand the variances of human language. For this purpose, researchers have introduced more than 11000 novels to their artificial intelligence software. After achievement of this goal, they gave it two sentences – a starting and a closing sentence – from which the machine wrote several poems.
Once Artificial Intelligence software have all the understanding of language, it can be well coupled with the ability to synthesis. Then AI can write in appealing ways and can come up with plots and other things that can be quite intriguing. Artificial Intelligence has a big advantage over the human author that it can be very good at keeping track of the characters. It can keep perfect track of all the details and can check the story at all levels by machine to prevent the potential flaws in plot.
The Future of Life Institute’s AI Impacts project conducted a survey recently. It predicts that Artificial Intelligence will be capable of writing a best seller by 2050. But you don’t need to wait that long to read literature written by a software. Here are the few instances where Artificial Intelligence has already made it to the creative writing.
A Poetry Collection by AI
Cheers Publishing, the Chinese publishing company, has gone a step further last year. They published the first-ever poetry collection, Sunshine Misses Windows, written by an AI named XiaoIce (literally: Microsoft Little Ice). They claimed that it was the first book written by an Artificial Intelligence in human history. In 2760 hours, XiaoIce wrote more than 10000 poems. From them they selected only 139 for the collection titled “Sunshine Misses Windows”. The book has 10 chapters highlighting human emotions like loneliness, joy or anticipation. Here is one of XiaoIce’s poems, if you want to judge for yourself:
“The rain is blowing through the sea A bird in the sky A night of light and calm Sunlight Now in the sky Cool heart The savage north wind When I found a new world..."
A Machine Written Novel
In Japan, The Nikkei Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award allows non-human authors to present their work. In 2016, award committee received 1450 application, out of which 11 were partially written by an AI program. Out of these 11, “The Day a Computer Writes a Novel” made it past the first round of the contest.
Here is an excerpt from that novel,
“I writhed with joy, which I experienced for the first time, and kept writing with excitement. “The day a computer wrote a novel. The computer, placing priority on the pursuit of its own joy, stopped working for humans.”
A professor at Future University Hakodate, Hitoshi Matsubara, led a team that created this literary AI program. The team acted as a guide to the AI in deciding things like the plot and gender of the characters.
A Machine Screenwriter Named Benjamin
AI has also made it to the world of movies, not just as part of the plot, but as a screenwriter. Scientist Ross Goodwin with his team has created an AI program called Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) which renamed itself Benjamin. This screenwriting software has already released its first debut short film Sunspring. The filmmaker Oscar Sharp directed it. Its creators decided to present it at Sci-Fi London, and it was selected as one of the 10 best short films.
According to you Is Artificial Intelligence in Creative Writing (Only if it happens) a Curse or a Blessing? As an Author (published or a budding) How do you see it, an Opportunity or a Drawback? Share your views and thoughts on this.