Robot writers

Written by Mark Evans
19/04/2018

Roald Dahl wrote The Great Automatic Grammatizator as a short story in 1954 in which a machine writes better stories than authors, in 1948 George Orwell’s 1984 foresaw the proles read books generated by a machine. So it is little surprise that AI has been harnessed to write. Indeed, the only surprise it that it took so long.

To be fair, it is not War and Peace, it is a ‘new’ Brothers Grimm fairy tale, but it none-the-less a step up from the news summarising bots that news agencies have used. The Princess and the Fox, comes from Calm, the ‘mindfulness and wellness’ app that has a side line in stories to help sleep.

The story tells the tale of a king, a magical golden horse, a forlorn princess and a poor miller’s son….I could go on, but if you are interested, just read the story.

Calm collaborated with Botnik, a group of writers, artists and programmers that use artificial intelligence, who utilised a predictive text programme, called Voicebox, feeding it the collected stories of the Brother's Grimm. Botnik still had to help fill in gaps, but it is one small step towards a machine fully writing a book.

With this comes the issue of rights. Currently a ‘writing style’ has no copy write, but as with the use of CGI actors the law may need to be revised.