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AI Japan Software IT Technology

Japanese AI Program Wrote a Short Novel, Almost Won a Literary Prize (digitaltrends.com) 40

An anonymous reader cites a Digital Trends article: A Japanese AI program has co-authored a short-form novel that passed the first round of screening for a national literary prize. The robot-written novel didn't win the competition's final prize, but who's to say it won't improve in its next attempt? The novel is actually called The Day A Computer Writes A Novel, or "Konpyuta ga shosetsu wo kaku hi" in Japanese. The meta-narrative wasn't enough to win first prize at the third Nikkei Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award ceremony, but it did come close. Officially, the novel was written by a very human team that led the AI program's development. Hitoshi Matsubara and his team at Future University Hakodate in Japan selected words and sentences, and set parameters for construction before letting the AI "write" the novel autonomously.
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Japanese AI Program Wrote a Short Novel, Almost Won a Literary Prize

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  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @09:34AM (#51768393)

    Hitoshi Matsubara and his team at Future University Hakodate in Japan selected words and sentences, and set parameters for construction before letting the AI "write" the novel autonomously

    So, basically the AI was given the sentences and was parameterized to arrange them. I'd need more to be amazed (especially coming from Japan)

  • Hitoshi Matsubara and his team at Future University Hakodate in Japan selected words and sentences, and set parameters for construction before letting the AI "write" the novel autonomously

    So the researchers wrote the actual words, then programmed the AI to put the words and sentences together. So basically it solved a puzzle, albeit one with words instead of images. Writing implies creating some sort of narrative or story rather than plugging in already written phrases to see what fits best.

  • Well, then I almost read the article. Almost.
  • AI-written "scientific" papers have been published too, but that doesn't mean that they are any good. Every year there is some story about how some new AI has autonomously done some amazing feat of natural-language something, and the stories laud that is has, or is just about to pass the Turing test, and yet under closer scrutiny it is inevitably something little advanced from ELIZA [wikipedia.org] (linked for the younger crowd). Just look at Microsoft's latest bungle.

    This will turn out to be either A) more an indictment

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @09:43AM (#51768443)

    This doesn't seem all that out there given the advances in lexical analysis and natural language processing. Heck, Grammatik was better at constructing an English sentence in 1992 than most middle school students (and even many high school students).

    • Yes, I think the day of computer-generated best-sellers will come sooner than most people think. Train your network on the whole corpus of current literature, weight things according to market performance, do lots of a/b testing with the first short stuff you generate, and grow it out as you learn to optimize.

      The bad news is that the market will be entirely flooded by the novel-length equivalent of "you won't BELIEVE what happened after this one weird trick..."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Follow the chain of cited news articles, and eventually you discover that it passed the first round of screening -- out of four.

  • by Vegan Cyclist ( 1650427 ) on Thursday March 24, 2016 @10:19AM (#51768707) Homepage
    Any chance the story has a pro-Hitler theme and show signs of daddy issues?
  • http://boards.4chan.org/pol/th... [4chan.org] here's the self-congratulatory thread.
  • This is just like intelligent design! The AI is like nature, and the human programmers are like God, setting things up and making tweaks to ensure things go right.

    That’s very interesting, because as you know, most novels evolve through random mutation and natural selection.

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