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The Day a Computer Turned an Author

Artificial Intelligence. Quite a common word these days. Some get excited at it. For others, it’s a terrifying thought. Most people are worried that the robots are taking over human jobs. Be it in industries or stores or any such place. But no one would’ve even thought of robots turning into authors, wielding their metal alloy fingers to pen away stories. And it has already happened!

A Japanese AI program has co-authored a short story titled “The Day a Computer Writes a Novel” (Konpyuta ga shosetsu wo kaku hi). It was co-written by Hitoshi Matsubara, a computer science professor, along with his team at the Future University, Hakodate, Japan. The story is about how a computer writes a novel and thereby stops working for humans, in order to pursue its passion. The novel was entered into a writing contest for the Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award. Surprisingly, it passed the first screening round in the contest.

Here’s an excerpt:

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.”
Almost 80% of the novel had a human involvement in some way or the other. The professor and his team decided on things like the plot and the gender of the characters. They also selected some prepared sentences which helped the AI to bring the book together. While the book didn’t win the award, it showed the potential of an AI. The creative factor, made the AI’s achievement quite impressive. Moreover the novel was rather well structured ignoring some minor errors here and there.

If an algorithm could do so well in such a field, a field that requires creativity, then no occupation is safe from the machines. But, only a half of this achievement could be credited to the AI. The other half belongs to Prof.Hitoshi and his team. The professor now wants to research on the creative side of a machine. So, some groups of people argue that an AI works better when partnered with a human. The AI-human combo can easily defeat another AI or a group of human. 
This “artificial author” has resulted in a huge development in the field of AI research. Hopefully we’ll be smart enough to not let the machines take over everything. We don’t need that I,Robot movie happening in real life now, do we?