The idea that a computer could write novels used to be science fiction. But today, with the invention of artificial intelligence software, it’s becoming a reality. In this article, I’ll explore how AI can take on tasks like writing novels and what this means for the future of publishing.
It’s not surprising that software can write novels-that is, after all, what computers do best.
The question is whether the resulting text will be any good. We’ve seen this in music already and it seems like a natural next step that some AI companies would pursue novel creation.
The idea of unending content has big implications for publishing, e-books, and the future of content creation.
That’s why it’s important to note that a computer can’t just spew out random words on any topic and count on it to be good. With writing, especially in fiction or creative nonfiction, there are key elements that are required for a piece to work well: character development, strong plot, setting, mood, and more.
If you read enough AI-written fiction like this, it’s clear that the programs need a lot of work in these areas. The characters are shallow, the plots don’t make sense, and there is little description or insight into how things feel. Creating compelling stories requires more than just random words in the right order.
To write a novel, you have to create an entire world that readers can escape into and imagine themselves as a part of. That’s because reading (and writing) are two of the most immersive activities we do today. We may not be physically present with our friends when we call them up or email them, but we’re still there with them in some sense-we’ve created a space where they are real for us. Novels take this idea even further by allowing us to feel like we’re inside someone else’s head and walking their shoes through their story.
I think AI will eventually be able to create compelling stories that rival the best novels out there.
But it’s not there yet. In my opinion, the current stuff out there is so bad that you can tell when computer-written text vs. human-written text. That’s because we’ve all been trained to recognize and understand stories, even if they’re really good or really bad.
As AI becomes better at creating these rich worlds, I think people will start to believe in them more-to a point where some may be fooled into thinking they were written by humans! If this happens, it could mean big things for books and literature as well as publishing in general.
Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow says that: “Novelty is an experience that stands out from the ordinary.” He goes on to explain how anything that’s new or different will “stand out” from what people are used to. This could be a good or bad thing, depending on the circumstances.
What does this have to do with novel writing? Well, for one, it means that if AI writes novels that people believe were written by humans, those stories will stick out beyond others and may even become more popular than actual human-written fiction!
The future of publishing is an interesting topic because while we’ve seen advancements in how we read eBooks and get books sent directly to our phones, there hasn’t been much innovation recently outside of tablets, which look kind of like big cell phones anyway (and haven’t really taken off).
With AI software on the rise for book creation and writing, this could mean big things for the publishing industry and content creators. Both writers and readers have reason to worry about this because if AI starts pumping out compelling stories that are indistinguishable from human-written ones, we could see a demand shift in what people want to read.
For one thing, it will be very difficult for authors to get published if there’s no way of telling their work apart from machines’. On the flip side, we know that other media such as video games has been challenged as technology continues to advance at faster rates. We’ve seen similar issues with music, too (and maybe even with its cousin, radio).
So now that we know computers can write novels pretty well, how long until they’re better than humans?
Will we see a demand shift for only AI-written novels at that point? Will they be better than human-authored ones? Will publishers, writers, and readers either adapt or go out of business altogether? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I’m sure interested in seeing how it plays out.
Until then, there’s still a lot of work to do before AI starts churning out the next great novel. In the meantime, machine learning is already being used for all kinds of other interesting things like automatic summarization and translation!
Keep an eye on AI in the next few years. It’s sure to continue making big strides that will change how we do a lot of things.
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