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Author Topic: The Fifth Wave of Writing  (Read 3412 times)  

Offline Sam Rivers

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The Fifth Wave of Writing
« on: August 06, 2017, 08:13:21 PM »
We tend to worry about the wrong things.  The present worry is about scammers taking money from hard working writers. What we should be worrying about is more serious and will make human writers obsolete.

In the future most fiction and nonfiction writing may be done by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

True AI is not here yet, but it is improving rapidly. It is just a matter of time for it to replace writers as it is predicted to replace many other jobs. It is doubtful that many jobs will not be able to be accomplished by AI.

Of course maybe I am wrong and the AI will be paired with a writer so books can be quickly written.  Instead of taking months to write a novel, it can be written in days. Then the number of books will skyrocket and viability will go down for human writers.

I rather doubt that Amazon would care how the books got written and might even have AI do the writing for them.  Then Amazon could get all the profits.

AI writing could actually be better than that written by humans. Readers will probably not care if the story is well written and enjoyable.

You shouldn't worry though since you can always go back to your day job; unless it has been replaced by AI.

The Fifth Wave is coming and we authors may no longer be needed.

Do you believe in the Fifth Wave of Writing or do you believe humans can't be replaced?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 08:18:24 PM by Sam Rivers »
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Offline Anarchist

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 08:39:34 PM »
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Offline Seneca42

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 08:54:29 PM »
True AI is not here yet, but it is improving rapidly. It is just a matter of time for it to replace writers as it is predicted to replace many other jobs. It is doubtful that many jobs will not be able to be accomplished by AI.

Explain just how they are going to do this? Moore's law is reaching a dead end. Quantum computing offers some interesting possibilities, but that's decades away short of a breakthrough.

There's no computer that can "think and feel and have self-awareness"... so A.I. is a long way off. I don't see a computer writing a novel that reads authentically maybe ever.

click bait titles with repurposed copy and paste sure. More than that? I doubt it.




Offline Amanda Abram

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 09:05:32 PM »
I could imagine the technology emerging that could create cohesive stories, with perfect grammar and spelling. But what I could not imagine is the technology to create a story that contains any sort of depth or emotion. I also can't imagine that most people would ever prefer to read a book created by A.I. over an actual human being. And even if this technology ever did come to pass, I doubt it would be in any of our lifetimes, so I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep over it.

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Offline Broken Monitor

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 09:38:58 PM »
The best I can see is formulaic books with randomized characters (traits, appearance, names). I don't honestly believe we'll ever be able to create true AI. Besides, how will AI books be judged? Nobody is going to want the job of reading all of the garbage they produce hoping to improve some genetic / evolutionary algorithm to get the AI to write slightly better works. There's some exceptionally fine details in many novels that would be quite a challenge for a computer to generate. Like breaking rules intelligently, making names that are puns, doing interesting things like having an entire chapter in a different format (like poetry, or other arbitrary restrictions), good foreshadowing,. Subtly implications are also going to be hard to do, which is based on society and reader understanding. One of my favorite recent examples was Kvothe giving his noble rings to a bunch of ehh women in a bar in the Kingkiller Chronicles. I don't see AI being able to navigate these intricacies.

Offline Herefortheride

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2017, 09:57:19 PM »
Explain just how they are going to do this? Moore's law is reaching a dead end. Quantum computing offers some interesting possibilities, but that's decades away short of a breakthrough.

There's no computer that can "think and feel and have self-awareness"... so A.I. is a long way off. I don't see a computer writing a novel that reads authentically maybe ever.

click bait titles with repurposed copy and paste sure. More than that? I doubt it.

Actually no. Experts in AI say that computers will be writing books as well if not better within the next couple of decades if not sooner.
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Offline EC Sheedy

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 10:31:25 PM »
Because I'm ...cough, cough...old(er), and have seen so much growth and unexpected change morph into certified miracles, I now absolutely believe AI will someday produce stories that will satisfy many readers. Stories are logical structures, and the variables needed will be easily gleaned by a tireless and connected AI idea dome.

As to what to do about it tonight or tomorrow?? That will probably be nothing. That future AI writer is so far out of my circle of influence it might as well be in another galaxy. I'd like one as a pet, though . . .
 

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Offline Nic

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 10:47:13 PM »
Yes, absolutely possible and going to happen very soon. I actually believe that Amazon and Google may already be working hard on this, with the help of us ebook authors who feed their AI algorithms with each book we publish via their venues.

In view of that by now a large number of genre books appear to me to already have been written by automatons, with ever similar tropes, plots, prose and the always same outcomes, I also believe such machine written books would be just as popular as current genre fiction on pulp level.

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2017, 10:53:26 PM »
We tend to worry about the wrong things.  The present worry is about scammers taking money from hard working writers. What we should be worrying about is more serious and will make human writers obsolete.

In the future most fiction and nonfiction writing may be done by Artificial Intelligence (AI).?

Why worry about it at all? Lots of occupations have become obsolete, from the lamplighters and wagon wheel makers to telephone and elevator operators. Or they've evolved, from stagecoach drivers to taxi drivers to uber drivers. Worrying about it doesn't stop it. It's fun to debate and imagine, but worry? Nah. Worrying didn't keep elevator operators relevant.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 11:08:52 PM by Going Incognito »

Offline Seneca42

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 11:23:21 PM »
Actually no. Experts in AI say that computers will be writing books as well if not better within the next couple of decades if not sooner.

send me in the direction of these experts please.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2017, 12:15:09 AM »
Not too worried. After all, the editing software out there still gets stuff wrong.  >:(
I do recall an AI that could analyze newspaper clippings and summarize what the story was about. That was pretty cool and like years and years ago.

Offline Guy Riessen

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2017, 02:15:07 AM »
Actually no. Experts in AI say that computers will be writing books as well if not better within the next couple of decades if not sooner.

As in all creative endeavors, the principal market will remain for 'human-created-content' whether that's books, music, visual arts, or TV/Movies. Computers are already capable of creating perfectly adequate electronic music... are you listening to it now? Why not? You want something more than perfectly adequate? Maybe you want to listen to something written and played by humans perhaps because you are also human? I use brainfm to help me focus while I'm writing. It's music is written by an AI right now. But it certainly doesn't fulfill my need for human-created music in the rest of my life...and why would it? Or consider that drum machines have been able to create perfect rhythm for any type of song for quite some time now... but musicians and listeners will tell you they prefer a human playing.

Art forms are by their very nature a process of human-connecting-to-human communication. That will not change simply because "an AI can do it."

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Online Douglas Milewski

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2017, 03:00:59 AM »
AIs only matter when they can do something cheaper or more profitable than the current industry. Right now, prospective authors write for free, and all the money is in acquisition and editing. With AI, you'd still have the same costs, plus you'd have to develop the AI. In the case of both fiction and non-fiction, people are cheaper because the authors take most of the development risks.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2017, 03:25:05 AM »
Back To The Future II thought we'd be all be driving flying cars in 2015. I think we're safe.

Offline Sam Rivers

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Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.

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Offline CABarrett

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2017, 06:55:38 AM »
AIs only matter when they can do something cheaper or more profitable than the current industry. Right now, prospective authors write for free, and all the money is in acquisition and editing. With AI, you'd still have the same costs, plus you'd have to develop the AI. In the case of both fiction and non-fiction, people are cheaper because the authors take most of the development risks.

This is a brilliant answer, if painfully humbling to me as a hobby writer! haha.

My father's an AI researcher and I have a couple of links that are relevant to this discussion saved; this blog post is framed as advice for journalists but it's a good starting point to critique reporting about AI, and here's some specific criticism of the survey that gave us those "experts say AI will be delivering babies by 2023!" numbers.

I don't believe that we will achieve machine sentience or creativity, only recombination and imitation. The question about whether AI will disrupt genre fiction any time soon is whether recombination is enough. I think that's a very interesting discussion to have, particularly among authors writing to market.

Offline RedFoxUF

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2017, 07:01:48 AM »
The prediction is AI bestsellers by 2030 or 40.

However, the people coming up with these dates don't appear to have ever written a bestseller. So...

I know they are data mining bestsellers like crazy and have tons of data BUT I've read many books that were pitch perfect and never caught on for whatever reason.

I will be surprised if the AI books truly end up competing with human authors. However, they might make good KU fodder. A large number of readers are astonishingly tolerant of less than great work...part of the reason why we have so many scammers and spammers in KU. It's not just that the math of KU makes for easy scamming it's that the readers will also pick up the books and add to the scammer's profits.

Offline Sam Rivers

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2017, 07:02:56 AM »
http://interestingengineering.com/artificial-intelligence-could-dominate-the-world-sooner/

Here is a current article that is interesting.

I wonder if James Patterson is wondering how he can benefit from using AI.  He could do an outline and the AI would do the rest of the writing.  Actually that is what he does now and has ghost writers do the writing.  AI would be cheaper though so it makes sense for him to use it instead of humans.
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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2017, 07:04:30 AM »
I think the arts may be the only jobs where humans will prevail. Machines can do almost any physical job, or will be able to at some point, but they aren't real storytellers yet. What would be the benefit to creating an AI to write, paint, compose? Those jobs are already hard to make a living at and there are plenty of people willing to make little to no money at it, while there are physically demanding jobs they'd happily abandon.

At any rate, I don't see any need to be fearful now. Maybe your grand kids can worry about it.
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Online RBC

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2017, 07:19:22 AM »
Tough topic. As a designer, I also have a looming threat of this, some of it already happening (like Canva, which isn't AI but it's computer tool taking away design tasks still). Even tho it's gonna get harder, our successes as Creatives will still be dependent on brand name (or simply, reputation). And those who build up and show real personality online and have great writing will be safe. I do think I prefer to read books by people, sure if there is a great book from AI I'll read it but it doesn't mean I'd prefer that. Good stories will win and those who build strong names will be able to sell their stuff still. Sometimes we buy art not because it's good, but because it's from person we admire, that's part of the story we tell too. AI doesn't create that intangible feeling.

Only really negative thing could be that if Amazon decided to just focus on AI and mostly publish those books, then it would create big issues for self-publishing authors. Otherwise, it's already possible for everybody to write a book, but most people won't. It's a skill, it's a craft so it's not easy. If it was, the world would have billion of people writing books, not millions. So authors are safe-ish in this regard too. Just cuz something is possible doesn't mean it will happen or be a threat.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2017, 07:24:59 AM »
https://www.wired.com/2017/02/robots-wrote-this-story/
Yep, that's what I studied like 30 years ago - create a pattern for a story and use AI to fill it in with facts to write a story. Was quite fascinating and removes some of the grunge work that humans shouldn't be doing anyway. It is still only as good as the input patterns though.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2017, 07:40:01 AM »
Actually no. Experts in AI say that computers will be writing books as well if not better within the next couple of decades if not sooner.

Have those "experts" actually WRITTEN a book? I'm sure they think it's easy to do because they've never done it.

Anyway, the article was about JOURNALISM not novels. I could see a computer being able to pick out the Who, What, When and Where of the story. Perhaps even the Why if it's basic enough. For example, a computer might say the building burned down because of a cigarette/unattended candle etc. Cause and effect that would have to be programmed in.

But what if it was arson or a murder? Could they write an article about the motivation of a person? Or would all articles be identical with only the Who, What, When, Where and Why swapped out? At that point, news will only be five sentences long.

Don't see AI writing an entertaining novel. Certainly the first one, no matter how awful will get sales because people are curious. Heck, that Col sander's faux romance book got a ton of sales. I suppose that proves there's a market for everything.

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Offline Al Stevens

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2017, 08:00:00 AM »
It will indeed happen and sooner than we might expect.

It will take longer for AI to write fiction that passes the Turing test unless we take the other governing factor into consideration. As art becomes available to more of the masses, as the consumer base broadens, the quality of the art as measured by the standards of the day almost always declines.

The previous generation thinks the new stuff stinks; the current generation thinks their art improves on that of the past. Reader expectations will change and that which had been acceptable is replaced. So what changes are the unwritten parameters of the Turing test.

Will there be a place for human writers? I think so. Is there a place today for chamber musicians?

Reject the notion if you will. Many of my generation still reject e-readers because they don't smell like books.

Offline Word Fan

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2017, 08:09:11 AM »
send me in the direction of these experts please.

O.K. David Pogue of Yahoo Finance, author of several volumes of The Missing Manual series of computer how-to books, guest technology reporter for CBS News, former technology reporter for the New York Times, talks with Martin Ford, author of the book Rise of the Robots.

The relevant quote is at 3:18 on this video from CBS news:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/automation-nation-2/

"Every 30 seconds there's a news story published on the web or maybe in a newspaper that is machine generated."

Offline Sam Rivers

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2017, 08:49:14 AM »
Quote
The relevant quote is at 3:18 on this video from CBS news:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/automation-nation-2/

That is an excellent video which I enjoyed and it gave a lot of insight into what is happening.

It is interesting that our present President of the U.S. wants to only bring in immigrants that have worthwhile skills and can speak English.
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Offline sela

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2017, 09:06:01 AM »
And one day, we will all live in a Star Trek future where robots do all the grunge work, AI runs everything operational in the background, and humans do all the fulfilling things such as art and exploration.

I, for one, can't wait for the consciousness upload to android bodies so humans will be immortal but I'll be long dead by then.

*sniff*

Offline Word Fan

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2017, 09:16:32 AM »
And one day, we will all live in a Star Trek future where robots do all the grunge work, AI runs everything operational in the background, and humans do all the fulfilling things such as art and exploration.

I, for one, can't wait for the consciousness upload to android bodies so humans will be immortal but I'll be long dead by then.

*sniff*

You might enjoy the book The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey.

Offline Kyra Halland

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2017, 09:53:23 AM »
I dunno, computers might be able to patch together novels that more or less make sense and might be enjoyable on the surface level. But unless there's a law that humans are no longer allowed to write fiction, we can still keep writing, and sooner or later, readers who are tired of cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blanks extruded fiction product will come back to us.


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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2017, 09:59:00 AM »
I imagine that in the not-too-distant future, AI will be writing books that outsell mine.  Disregarding sales, the difference between AI and myself is that if you were to rub a giant rare earth magnet around my head for a couple minutes I would still be able to continue writing once you were done.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2017, 11:05:26 AM »
I'd start by looking at the biggest, most formulaic genres. Those have the best chance at a return on investment. Romance will be targeted first because it represents the most money and is thought to be simpler than most other fiction. My bet is that the first working AI's in this area will be scams perpetrated upon investors, and after enough money thrown after failures, the industry will sour on AI.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2017, 11:07:36 AM »
Considering all the problems with software that merely translates from one language to another, I have my doubts that AI will be able to write a coherent original story any time soon.

Offline WDR

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2017, 11:25:02 AM »
On Twitter, there is a bot that generates story ideas. It occasionally came up with something that resonated as pretty interesting. But over time, it proved to be ridiculously repetitive. It was merely plugging in random nouns and verbs into a template that was pretty much an "Ad Libs" style approach to writing. For those who don't know, "Ad Libs" was a game in the 1970s where each page had a statement written out and various nouns, verbs, and adjectives were left blank waiting for the players to fill the blanks. My own family got a lot of laughs out of it. But over time, you could almost tell what ad lib template was being used by the words that were left blank. The game grew tiresome and we stopped playing it.

The problem with building a novel formulaically is the above paragraph describes the result. It reads like it was copied from something else, regardless of whether the copying was done by a living human or by a machine. Something formulaic is also predictable and quickly becomes boring. The premise that a story can be written by algorithm is already flawed on that basis.

A story isn't just words on a page. There is a rhythm and pace to how those words are presented. We often make jokes about using a thesaurus while writing, but having just the right word at just the right point in the story can be all important. That word could be the difference between being labeled "Imaginative" or "Cliche". We can feel the emotions that our characters are feeling and tweak the way it is written to bring that out for the readers.

Artificial Intelligence is about a program that can observe the environmental variables and adjust its parameters accordingly. An AI can weld two pieces of metal together accurately, even if the two pieces landed in front of it slightly askew. If a flower petal landed on the table at the same time as the two pieces of metal, the AI can recognize the petal as extraneous debris and ignore it. But it cannot ponder the beauty of the variety of color shades in the flower petal, nor can it wonder how it felt to the plant when it shed the petal. It cannot consider the metaphysical concepts that a fallen flower petal might represent or begin to consider a poem that would describe how that made it feel. Or, more importantly, how that would make someone else feel. I can look at a face and recognize that person as attractive to me. An AI machine uses facial recognition and determines that the eyes, nose, and mouth match the parameters of a certain individual recorded in its database.

To look beyond the objective requires sentience. The ability to think subjectively. Right now, we cannot program machines to think on that level.

If a machine cannot step outside of itself and wonder what it feels like to be something else, how can it make up a story? Because, as writers, that's what we do all the time.

I'm not saying it won't ever happen. But I'm pretty confident it won't happen in my lifetime.
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Offline Morgan Worth

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2017, 11:40:18 AM »
On Twitter, there is a bot that generates story ideas. It occasionally came up with something that resonated as pretty interesting. But over time, it proved to be ridiculously repetitive. It was merely plugging in random nouns and verbs into a template that was pretty much an "Ad Libs" style approach to writing. For those who don't know, "Ad Libs" was a game in the 1970s where each page had a statement written out and various nouns, verbs, and adjectives were left blank waiting for the players to fill the blanks. My own family got a lot of laughs out of it. But over time, you could almost tell what ad lib template was being used by the words that were left blank. The game grew tiresome and we stopped playing it.

The problem with building a novel formulaically is the above paragraph describes the result. It reads like it was copied from something else, regardless of whether the copying was done by a living human or by a machine. Something formulaic is also predictable and quickly becomes boring. The premise that a story can be written by algorithm is already flawed on that basis.

A story isn't just words on a page. There is a rhythm and pace to how those words are presented. We often make jokes about using a thesaurus while writing, but having just the right word at just the right point in the story can be all important. That word could be the difference between being labeled "Imaginative" or "Cliche". We can feel the emotions that our characters are feeling and tweak the way it is written to bring that out for the readers.

Artificial Intelligence is about a program that can observe the environmental variables and adjust its parameters accordingly. An AI can weld two pieces of metal together accurately, even if the two pieces landed in front of it slightly askew. If a flower petal landed on the table at the same time as the two pieces of metal, the AI can recognize the petal as extraneous debris and ignore it. But it cannot ponder the beauty of the variety of color shades in the flower petal, nor can it wonder how it felt to the plant when it shed the petal. It cannot consider the metaphysical concepts that a fallen flower petal might represent or begin to consider a poem that would describe how that made it feel. Or, more importantly, how that would make someone else feel. I can look at a face and recognize that person as attractive to me. An AI machine uses facial recognition and determines that the eyes, nose, and mouth match the parameters of a certain individual recorded in its database.

To look beyond the objective requires sentience. The ability to think subjectively. Right now, we cannot program machines to think on that level.

If a machine cannot step outside of itself and wonder what it feels like to be something else, how can it make up a story? Because, as writers, that's what we do all the time.

I'm not saying it won't ever happen. But I'm pretty confident it won't happen in my lifetime.

I'm not sure if you're talking about the same thing or not, but Mad Libs is still a thing. My kids and their friends love it, especially on road trips through the mountains with no cell or radio reception. It's a great way for kids to learn parts of speech, too. :)
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Offline Nic

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2017, 11:43:08 AM »
If a machine cannot step outside of itself and wonder what it feels like to be something else, how can it make up a story? Because, as writers, that's what we do all the time.

Do all writers do that? I don't think so. I read a lot of romance and erotica, and much of it is so utterly formulaic and such a repetitive dross, that often just the names differ and a few places. There is no creative effort in this, no spark and nothing divine. These writers simply write to a formula by the dozen. They churn out several books per month, and repeat themselves again and again. This kind of book can easily be written by AI. I'm convinced the consumers of this kind of story won't even notice.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2017, 11:47:20 AM »
I don't write to genre, I don't copy other writers and I come up with some unusual ideas for stories.  I don't think AI will be replacing me anytime soon.

And as already mentioned...I do it all for FREE! :)

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Offline seanpatrick

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2017, 12:59:42 PM »
"I rather doubt that Amazon would care how the books got written"

Not true. A machine can already write a story. The problem that can't be solved by a machine is the enigma of human life and that's what a good writer is writing about. The mysteries and the questions that we all have are the salts and spices of a good novel or yarn.

Humans experience life, machines copy it - or might be able to copy it at some point. The book with all the tropes and good structure written by a computer will never have the magic of the human question hidden between each line, or in the lilt of a character's voice. Writing isn't about getting structure right, or characterization etc. That's the tool we use to make magic -  something we can't put our finger on in conversation, or a simple explanation.
The machines will try and convince us, though, that they know better than us and some of us will stupidly agree. Others will continue to write human novels about human experiences.

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2017, 03:11:56 PM »
Humans experience life, machines copy it
And the Turing test asks whether an observer/consumer can tell the difference.
The machines will try and convince us, though, that they know better than us and some of us will stupidly agree.
And the success of AI will be measured by how many of us do so.

Offline TellNotShow

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #37 on: August 07, 2017, 06:55:27 PM »
Do all writers do that? I don't think so. I read a lot of romance and erotica, and much of it is so utterly formulaic and such a repetitive dross, that often just the names differ and a few places. There is no creative effort in this, no spark and nothing divine. These writers simply write to a formula by the dozen. They churn out several books per month, and repeat themselves again and again. This kind of book can easily be written by AI. I'm convinced the consumers of this kind of story won't even notice.

And Amazon are already quietly (as secretly as they can) filling their store with their own brands of clothing, batteries, and many other everyday items, bumping them up the search results, choking out the previous suppliers wherever they can.

At some point they WILL replace maybe 90% or more of books with crud of their own making. As we've already seen with their own publishing brands, they won't rest until the Big Six, Five, whatever, are replaced by the Big One and Only. To imagine they'll keep paying us for whatever they can manufacture almost free (such as the repetitive dross Nic mentioned) would be a mistake.

Regardless of whether we believe AI novels will become a thing or not, there is no doubt that Amazon is the biggest player, shows no sign of losing market share, and has repeatedly shown a determination to increase its profit share over time. Which means that now, and the very near future, are the best time to try to make enough money from writing, so that it won't matter as much in five or ten years. Write those books, people, and get them selling. The sky may not be falling, but it's definitely becoming more polluted each day.
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Offline WHDean

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2017, 06:59:57 PM »
The future of AI in writing is in augmenting human writers, just as it is in chess. I don't know how it will work exactly, but that's where it will fit in.

 

Offline Skip Knox

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #39 on: August 07, 2017, 07:43:52 PM »
Machines will write books. But humans will *also* write books, just as they will continue to paint, sculpt, dance, and play music. We can't help ourselves. I can't, anyway.

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2017, 07:48:57 PM »
Machines will write books. But humans will *also* write books, just as they will continue to paint, sculpt, dance, and play music. We can't help ourselves. I can't, anyway.
But will they make a living at it? I've watched as DJs and karaoke operators have eroded work for live musicians. Yeah, we still play music. But who can live on peanuts?

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2017, 03:03:11 AM »
Amazon is also into crowdsourcing, such as their Mechanical Turk. Will Amazon make more money developing their an AI to write novels, or will they make more money by allowing others to write novels and publishing everything?

That doesn't even touch the copyright problem. Can you assign copyright to a machine? Note that copyright law can be changed, either for or against the benefit of Amazon.

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Offline Kwrite

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #42 on: August 08, 2017, 04:59:57 AM »
Those of you concerned about AI taking over the book industry, how do you expect this to happen? Amazon to no longer allow humans to sell books through their site? Otherwise, the AI written books would be no different than other author books your book is currently competing with. Are you saying they will only sell AI written novels? I guess I'm not seeing a crisis for the Indy author here.

Offline Adria R.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #43 on: August 08, 2017, 05:30:44 AM »
No. AI at that level isn't coming anytime soon. I've been working as a researcher in theoretical computer science for years, and AI is so far from emulating human intelligence (not to mention emotion, which is another thing altogether) it's not even funny.

We understand next to nothing about how the brain works, and even if we did, we don't have the right scientific tools (mathematical and otherwise) to model it correctly, let alone emulate it. Not to mention that the brain doesn't exist in a vacuum -- art is the result of human experience, which again is the result of the way humans interact with their environment. It is a deeply complex, social construct. Automatically creating art when we don't even know how memories are stored in the brain, or whether there even is such a thing as memories, seems extremely far-fetched to me.

It has been pointed out that the IP (information processing) metaphor that we use to think about the brain is profoundly wrong because the brain is not a computer and never was. So the idea that programming will be able to emulate even a fraction of the complexity of the human mind is simply wrong, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not even going to get into the computability issues. So, yeah. Computer-generated novels are the least of my worries...

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2017, 05:44:14 AM »
In the 1990's I listened while the gung ho tech guy sitting next to me on a plane explain to me that my job (translating) was going to disappear soon and I needed to look for other work. Twenty years on we have the great delight of Google translate which allows me to travel without using any of my gesticulating, acting or drawing skills, simply by taking a picture on my phone (which would have been an equally mind-boggling thought at the time- mobile phones were huge rectangular blocks about as useful for picture taking as a glass paperweight would be). But although a great many things are machine-translated these days, computers are far from taking human-translators' jobs- in fact, there are probably more of us than before as machine translation exposes the still-huge gap between human understanding of nuance, emotion and social context and makes painfully evident, by contrast what we're good for.

In the 1970's I used to listen to AI experts at Rand talking about what could be expected from their field. Science Fiction writers were already predicting a machine-controlled future with robots indistinguishable from humans. The experts' expectations were far more modest: their rallying cry was "In ten years, the brain of crayfish!" Forty years on I haven't followed enough to know whether we're there yet. Perhaps we are. In any case, their modest expectations were clearly not nearly modest enough.

But the thing that always disturbs me about these discussions is the way they completely ignore the larger context in which they're asked. It's as if intelligent fish had been taught physics in a human context and were continually coming up with the wrong answers because they didn't understand they were living in the water.

Here's the thing. We decide, as societies and as individuals, what value we will place on what jobs, what jobs are necessary to have and how they will be compensated. These values change all the time. In the late 1700's the first wave of devaluing farm and then skilled physical labor came and continued pretty much non-stop, using increasing numbers of low-paid laborers like women and children for a century until the late 1800's when various labor, women's and children's rights movements along with moral reformers combined both to limit labor (by sending children to school, married women home, and redirecting single women into roles like teaching that were more in tune with Victorian notions of womanhood) and to raise male wages to a level which could support a family. Then we had nearly a century which turned most of the former working class into a new middle class and eventually created broad-based material wealth for the majority of people in many countries for the first time in history. Now we are deep into a period of declining prosperity for the many and extraordinary wealth for the few, and more importantly in the middle of a moral crisis as we are forced to take stock of the great human question of what we value and how- and how we value ourselves and others.

Yeah, I know, I'm getting into TL;DR territory here. So I'll cut to the chase. It doesn't matter what jobs AI can or cannot do. Unless we can create, define and compensate jobs for enough people - or otherwise provide them with buying power- there will be no market for anything AI can produce. It's all entirely up to us. Whether we use our power to redesign the world, as we've done in the past, or just continue to try and insist we are living in an atmosphere of air and not water remains to be seen.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 05:48:05 AM by Sarah Shaw »

Offline Nic

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2017, 09:44:03 AM »
Unless we can create, define and compensate jobs for enough people - or otherwise provide them with buying power- there will be no market for anything AI can produce.

That already is happening. It's not a question of whether or when, it's already a question of what to do with the redundant people.

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2017, 10:06:04 AM »
That already is happening. It's not a question of whether or when, it's already a question of what to do with the redundant people.

What I'm suggesting is that the causality goes the other way from what people commonly think: unless we come up with enough new ways to define human value and divide whatever goods we produce in a fairly broad manner technological progress will be delayed and limited relative to its potential. Fortunately, I see from my coworking space things definitely are changing. The only question is whether it will be fast enough to prevent the kind of ugly dystopia so many writers seem to be envisioning.

Offline ParkerAvrile

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2017, 11:15:44 AM »
There's a religious belief that a brain capable of creative thought can only arise by chance as a result of billions of years of evolution. Those who hold this belief appear to be morally certain the human brain is not quite smart enough, good enough-- dare I say creative enough-- to engineer an artificial brain capable of creative thought. It is never explained clearly why something that once happened by chance (the evolution of the creative brain) wouldn't be able to be replicated by intention. As far as I can tell, it's simply a superstitious belief that humans can't do this and/or computers will never be smart/divine/blessed enough.

People who think people can't do something-- walk on the moon, impact the global climate, fly through the sky in a metal machine-- those people are always proved wrong in the end.

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Offline Melody Simmons

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2017, 12:05:39 PM »
I'll ad a few thoughts.  There are those that believe the secret government and other forces behind the screens already have amounts of vastly advanced technology - but they are not releasing it to the masses as it might even make money obsolete (like the technology to reproduce anything - food etc. also petrol-free cars running on only water)  According to them the technology is released in tiny bits over time, like the iPad and so on.  If they feel inclined they may release one of their hidden devices in the next decade, which might make computers obsolete (think 3D hologram displays in the air with no actual monitor and so on). These things are discussed on some of the conspiracy-type websites.  Like someone else higher up in the thread said - a 100 years ago there were no computers, iPads etc. and those things were inconceivable to the masses.  So what can happen in a 100 years is unthinkable.

That said the influence on the quality of human life is definitely questionable.  Most countries have unemployment problems on the planet.  Machines and technology have already replaced so many jobs - but are new jobs created at an equal rate???

That is why some speculate that things just cannot go on like this and there will be a mass wipe-out of some sort to reset the planet to function in a more natural way, with more natural abilities like telepathy developed in our DNA instead of the AI taking over.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 12:10:40 PM by Melody Simmons »

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2017, 12:16:57 PM »
Back in the dark ages, circa 1985-6, I worked on a research project for ATT. They had a thing called a grammar checker that would take any kind of writing and fix it. I think we all know how successful that project has turned out thirty years later.

Read the reviews on Zon and see how many complain about "unoriginal" or "more of the same", etc. As Nic says above, there are a lot of formulaic, repetitive books out there. AI will produce more of them. The mystery with the twist you never saw coming won't be written by an AI, and the romance that brings tears to your eyes won't either.

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Offline Nic

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2017, 12:22:04 PM »
What I'm suggesting is that the causality goes the other way from what people commonly think: unless we come up with enough new ways to define human value and divide whatever goods we produce in a fairly broad manner technological progress will be delayed and limited relative to its potential. Fortunately, I see from my coworking space things definitely are changing. The only question is whether it will be fast enough to prevent the kind of ugly dystopia so many writers seem to be envisioning.

I don't see that. The current technological and financial process already has outdistanced a large segment of the population, worldwide. This isn't going to change peacefully. This process will spread and speed up, as the financial background to fuel it already has been and is being funelled into it as we speak. 

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2017, 12:39:09 PM »
Imagine you are staring at the screen/paper and want to describe a dark and stormy night without having to use the clich. What better tool than an AI that has a comprehensive library of past novels to reference? You could give it key words like dark, stormy, night, and ask it to give you the most used, least used, or maybe the advanced edition could give you its attempt at creating something new that isn't in its list. Maybe it's smart enough to realize that dark is a subset of stormy+night and prunes that out. Think of being able to describe deserts, forests, Victorian dining rooms... and cross referencing them with other descriptions that have been given. You could ensure your work is unique. I guess it could also be used for stealing  :o so perhaps not such a good idea after all, but it was something I thought might be more profitable for an AI to do than try to generate books.

I imagine writing a book that nobody could tell was by an AI would be a programmer's dream, but humans pick up on patterns so easily even when they don't realize they are dong it. This is why pattern recognition is so hard for an AI and takes only a mere glance for a human. AI's are super good at some things and super bad at others. Creating a book that is genuinely unique and not a compilation of thousands of existing books strikes me as a super hard problem to solve, especially if it involves human interaction. I'm not worried.

Offline ParkerAvrile

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2017, 12:48:11 PM »

That is why some speculate that things just cannot go on like this and there will be a mass wipe-out of some sort to reset the planet to function in a more natural way, with more natural abilities like telepathy developed in our DNA instead of the AI taking over.

Telepathy is less than a decade away. Near-telepathy is already here. I can wake up my phone with my voice, order it to text whoever, dictate the message I want to send, and get a reply back from the other person within moments.  Next step seems relatively trivial-- Instead of a phone, we'll have an implant in our head and we'll be able to call up anyone anywhere (at least anyone anywhere who hasn't turned off their notifications) just by thinking about it. So telepathy is definitely going to happen, absent some absolutely catastrophic event like total annihilation of the human race. It need not rely on any advances in DNA tech at all, although I wouldn't rule anything out. There's seldom only one way to do something useful.
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Offline Melody Simmons

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2017, 12:56:18 PM »
Telepathy is less than a decade away. Near-telepathy is already here. I can wake up my phone with my voice, order it to text whoever, dictate the message I want to send, and get a reply back from the other person within moments.  Next step seems relatively trivial-- Instead of a phone, we'll have an implant in our head and we'll be able to call up anyone anywhere (at least anyone anywhere who hasn't turned off their notifications) just by thinking about it. So telepathy is definitely going to happen, absent some absolutely catastrophic event like total annihilation of the human race. It need not rely on any advances in DNA tech at all, although I wouldn't rule anything out. There's seldom only one way to do something useful.

What you are describing is the takeover by the AI though - humans merging with technology.  One conspiracy camp that feels this is not natural is hoping for the wipe-out to get rid of the AI, whereafter natural abilities will be enhanced without any type of technology needed.  The wipeout may not be a total ice-age type event, just a solar flare that wipes all electronics...  Not saying I believe either side - I just find it an interesting topic.

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #54 on: August 08, 2017, 01:00:00 PM »
There are those that believe the secret government and other forces behind the screens already have amounts of vastly advanced technology - but they are not releasing it to the masses
For that to be true, of course, many people would need to be involved and would have to keep the secret. Like all such government conspiratorial secrets. For the moon landings to have been faked, for example, I and many of my colleagues would have to have been in on it. During the leakiest of times in government...well, you know.

Offline ParkerAvrile

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #55 on: August 08, 2017, 01:41:33 PM »
What you are describing is the takeover by the AI though - humans merging with technology.  One conspiracy camp that feels this is not natural is hoping for the wipe-out to get rid of the AI, whereafter natural abilities will be enhanced without any type of technology needed.  The wipeout may not be a total ice-age type event, just a solar flare that wipes all electronics...  Not saying I believe either side - I just find it an interesting topic.

I love a good conspiracy as much as the next buff, but people who are praying for the widespread destruction of the human race are not good people. They are primarily worth talking to in order to craft better villains in a story we all hope never comes true.

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Offline Word Fan

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2017, 02:22:36 PM »
Considering all the problems with software that merely translates from one language to another, I have my doubts that AI will be able to write a coherent original story any time soon.

Doubt all you want, but translating idioms from one language to another is far more difficult than writing text in a language the rules of which have already been learned.

Offline WHDean

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2017, 05:56:37 PM »
Doubt all you want, but translating idioms from one language to another is far more difficult than writing text in a language the rules of which have already been learned.

Using idioms correctly and translating them correctly are different problems for humans, but the same problem for computers: Specifying a rule for their use is difficult. Computers haven't even cracked grammar yet.

I think AI will be able to generate stories, but they won't be any good. Like I said earlier, AI will be a collaborator for writers in the same way it helps chess players, most likely by generating possibilities.



 


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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #58 on: August 08, 2017, 07:33:13 PM »
Telepathy is less than a decade away. Near-telepathy is already here.

The scientists involved in the overseas brain-to-brain communication experiment actually said not to mistake what they did for telepathy.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2017, 01:21:18 AM »
What you are describing is the takeover by the AI though - humans merging with technology.  One conspiracy camp that feels this is not natural is hoping for the wipe-out to get rid of the AI, whereafter natural abilities will be enhanced without any type of technology needed.  The wipeout may not be a total ice-age type event, just a solar flare that wipes all electronics...  Not saying I believe either side - I just find it an interesting topic.

I think we all know how this humans vs. machines thing will play out:


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Offline toddhicks209

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2017, 03:20:25 AM »
This isn't something I'll worry about. I'll keep writing and doing my thing, regardless.

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Offline LovetoWrite

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2017, 06:22:12 AM »
I could see this happening. My guess is that when it does happen, there will be a nostalgia factor that comes into play, and books written by humans will be treasured by the same types of people who treasure records, enjoy classic cars, and appreciate real beauty and age in humans.

Offline Perry Constantine

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2017, 07:56:46 AM »
Until it happens, I'm not going to worry about it.

And when it does, I'm turning traitor on the rest of you meatsacks.


Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2017, 11:02:50 AM »
Amazon: We see you just bought a wallet, and we thought you might be interested in... ANOTHER WALLET!

Me: AI is not replacing humans anytime soon.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2017, 12:16:30 PM »
I'm almost 50. If I were really worried about this, I would discourage my daughter or young relatives from planning a career in writing (and none of them are anyway). As for myself, if I believed AI could eventually take over fiction writing to the point organic units could no longer make a living from it, which I don't believe for a hot second, it wouldn't be a personal worry for me because I'll be long dead by that time. And hopefully buried upside down in my flying car *cough* so the robots can kiss my behind.

People who make a living in the arts have plenty of legitimate things to worry about. Computers becoming so creative as to force humans out isn't one of them. But, if you believe it is, make hay while the sun shines and save your pennies so you can survive when Skynet Publishing ruins it for everybody.

Online Douglas Milewski

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #65 on: August 09, 2017, 12:27:33 PM »
I'm with you on that. When AIs owned by publishing companies start producing readable books, the publishing companies will need to invent AIs to create covers and AI's to do the marketing. In the end, they'll outsource all of it, creating an AI acquisitions editor.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #66 on: August 09, 2017, 12:32:05 PM »
Until it happens, I'm not going to worry about it.

And when it does, I'm turning traitor on the rest of you meatsacks.



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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #67 on: August 09, 2017, 12:55:49 PM »
We tend to worry about the wrong things.

Timing is everything.

I believe, but do not know for sure, that AI already aggregates and synopsizes much of the news content we see on various big sites across the internet (Google News certainly). There are already writer's tools that generate story outlines with minimal input. It's not a stretch to conclude AI will at some point write entire stories, and with algorithms rather than humans providing the input.

There's already a big market for drone-like fiction with repetitive story lines or plots (I'm not pointing any fingers), and I'm sure AI engineers are well aware of the potential return for computer generated content. So, yeah, it's coming. I doubt they'll go after the War & Peace audiences, but they'll probably suck dry a few of the more formulaic genres. That's still probably way off, but they used to say that about global warming too.

Speaking of which, if I was thirty instead of sixty, I'd be more concerned about global warming. I would also not be dabbling in writing for a living unless I knew I would be the exception to the rule that most writers ultimately fail. At sixty it's not a big concern.

Hence, timing really is everything.





Offline Al Stevens

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #68 on: August 09, 2017, 01:07:36 PM »
There's already a big market for drone-like fiction with repetitive story lines or plots ...
That's close to what Chris Fox encourages in "Write to Market." Know your genre and its tropes so well that you can better match readers' expectations.
Speaking of which, if I was thirty instead of sixty, I'd be more concerned about global warming. I would also not be dabbling in writing for a living unless I knew I would be the exception to the rule that most writers ultimately fail. At sixty it's not a big concern.
Others have said something similar. "Won't happen in my lifetime." So they don't need to resist. But. What if there's reincarnation? :D

Offline skylarker1

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #69 on: August 09, 2017, 02:27:01 PM »
I find it hard to believe an artificial intelligence that has never experienced living as a human being in the human world could create and portray convincing human characters that I could relate to as a reader.

I read largely because I care about the characters and their experiences. I care about characters who care deeply about what's important in their world, be it loved ones or simple survival. I care about characters who are vulnerable in some ways and strong in others, who have tried and failed and tried again, who have shared jokes, laughed, cried, hated, scorned, feared, yearned, loved - the characters who matter have something in common with me and other people I know. Writing convincingly about these experiences requires at least a touch of understanding, wisdom and compassion - and I doubt anyone knows how to program those qualities into a logical system.


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Offline Al Stevens

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #70 on: August 09, 2017, 02:40:52 PM »
I find it hard to believe an artificial intelligence that has never experienced living as a human being in the human world could create and portray convincing human characters that I could relate to as a reader.
Experience in creativity is a product of memory and the ability to process it. Computers don't know squat about payroll until you load the application and database. The hardware technology for AI exists now. All we need are the code and data. Whether we get them will depend on whether any authoritative entity sees fit to expend what it takes. Which usually means there must be a foreseeable, predictable profit. If it happens, it will likely be a side effect of something more important, some technology we need and are willing to pay for.

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #71 on: August 09, 2017, 03:10:46 PM »
In terms of true cognitive reasoning, for the immediate future, as in a couple of lifetimes, AI is horsehockey. It's all clever coding designed for an expected and predicted result, no different than mechanical constructs. The only way AI can write books is if they are given enough scripts and if/then databases to approximate human prose and all that entails. But the program would have to be so extensive, with so many pre-programmed connecting sentences (the way computer generated news stories work now) that the coder might as well save the time and write the book themselves. Computers don't learn like humans do, not yet, anyway, they analyze data and follow predetermined algorithms. They can only write the books they are programmed to write. So what's the point? The computer wouldn't be the author, the coder would be. The computer would just be the tool - the interface.

Computers are not sentient. But when they become so, and if our new Over Lords will allow it - Bender - I'd love to read their books.  ;)



« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 03:12:43 PM by P.J. Post »

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #72 on: August 09, 2017, 03:19:16 PM »
Here's a story written by a computer.  I think we're in trouble.

 
Quote
Cold San Diego
A Short Story
by Jane Doe

Ocean Grey had always loved cold San Diego with its breezy, brief beaches. It was a place where she felt unstable.

She was a callous, mean, cocoa drinker with sloppy spots and sticky hands. Her friends saw her as a fluffy, faint friend. Once, she had even revived a dying, chicken. That's the sort of woman he was.

Ocean walked over to the window and reflected on her pretty surroundings. The drizzle rained like chatting cats.

Then she saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Steven Meadows. Steven was a daring writer with pretty spots and squat hands.

Ocean gulped. She was not prepared for Steven.

As Ocean stepped outside and Steven came closer, she could see the solid glint in his eye.

Steven gazed with the affection of 8440 brave keen kittens. He said, in hushed tones, "I love you and I want a kiss."

Ocean looked back, even more concerned and still fingering the solid kettle. "Steven, I am your mother," she replied.

They looked at each other with relaxed feelings, like two heavy, helpful hamsters jogging at a very patient birthday party, which had flute music playing in the background and two loving uncles chatting to the beat.

Suddenly, Steven lunged forward and tried to punch Ocean in the face. Quickly, Ocean grabbed the solid kettle and brought it down on Steven's skull.

Steven's pretty spots trembled and his squat hands wobbled. He looked calm, his emotions raw like a tight, troubled torch.

Then he let out an agonising groan and collapsed onto the ground. Moments later Steven Meadows was dead.

Ocean Grey went back inside and made herself a nice mug of cocoa.
THE END


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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #73 on: August 09, 2017, 03:55:30 PM »
The scientists involved in the overseas brain-to-brain communication experiment actually said not to mistake what they did for telepathy.

What did the guys who made the Samsung Galaxy 8 say? This is quibbling. If you can talk to another brain instantly over a long distance, it's telepathy or near enough for government work.
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Offline ParkerAvrile

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #74 on: August 09, 2017, 03:57:34 PM »
Amazon: We see you just bought a wallet, and we thought you might be interested in... ANOTHER WALLET!

Me: AI is not replacing humans anytime soon.

There's actually a reason for that. And it isn't that Amazon doesn't know how to sell things. People love to gripe about that, but how many times have I bought the thing, decided the thing wasn't good enough, and then bought the same thing only better? How many times have I bought the thing, loved it, and decided to buy another as a gift?
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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #75 on: August 09, 2017, 04:04:59 PM »
This will never happen.

By the way, I also predicted the Internet wouldn't catch on.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #76 on: August 09, 2017, 04:11:59 PM »
What did the guys who made the Samsung Galaxy 8 say? This is quibbling. If you can talk to another brain instantly over a long distance, it's telepathy or near enough for government work.

I'm not quibbling. You can't really talk to another brain even over a short distance, not in any meaningful way, and not instantly by a longshot even with computers turning brainwaves into flashing lights. I'm just saying if your belief that telepathy is nearly here is based on these experiments or what Elon Musk is doing, and that fuels your belief in AI ruining it for writers anytime soon, you're probably concerned needlessly.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #77 on: August 09, 2017, 04:14:15 PM »
Here's a story written by a computer.  I think we're in trouble.

 

 ;)    ;D

That would win even the most rousing game of Mad Libs evarr.

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #78 on: August 09, 2017, 04:26:25 PM »


By the way, I also predicted the Internet wouldn't catch on.

I'm still holding on to my fax machine as a back-up, though I don't have a landline to plug it into.


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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #79 on: August 09, 2017, 04:34:49 PM »
I'm not quibbling. You can't really talk to another brain even over a short distance, not in any meaningful way, and not instantly by a longshot even with computers turning brainwaves into flashing lights. I'm just saying if your belief that telepathy is nearly here is based on these experiments or what Elon Musk is doing, and that fuels your belief in AI ruining it for writers anytime soon, you're probably concerned needlessly.

Maybe you can't, but I can.  I can say a few words and my phone will actually look up the person I want to say those few words too, no matter how far away or what continent the person may be on at the moment, and he can instantly respond. If that isn't telepathy, what is? I can communicate my thoughts at a distance without lifting a hand... This isn't based on something Elon Musk might be doing. It's based on something I've been doing personally for weeks, with an investment less than $1K in a shiny new phone. Something anybody on this forum can probably afford to do.

A little more miniaturization, the ability to implant a tiny, long-lasting device in one's body... and we're there. It can't be a decade away. Some people will be doing it in five years.
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Offline P.J. Post

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #80 on: August 09, 2017, 05:40:34 PM »
I can say a few words and my phone will actually look up the person I want to say those few words too, no matter how far away or what continent the person may be on at the moment, and he can instantly respond. If that isn't telepathy, what is?

What you're describing is a really old mechanical advancement, radio wave technology, one that currently utilizes a system of amplifying stations and satellites to connect users. It doesn't matter how small the technology becomes. If the amplifying stations or satellites fail, the ability is lost. Telepathy is when one biological being communicates with another biological being through biological (super-sensory) means over distance.

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #81 on: August 09, 2017, 08:44:31 PM »
There's actually a reason for that. And it isn't that Amazon doesn't know how to sell things. People love to gripe about that, but how many times have I bought the thing, decided the thing wasn't good enough, and then bought the same thing only better? How many times have I bought the thing, loved it, and decided to buy another as a gift?

You must be fun at parties. :)

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #82 on: August 09, 2017, 08:53:55 PM »
In terms of true cognitive reasoning, for the immediate future, as in a couple of lifetimes, AI is horsehockey.

I have a friend who works in computer science at a fairly high level that says pretty much the same thing. Fiction and conspiracies are fun, but we are a LONG way off. At least according to our current understanding.

There is always the possibility of some lightning-strike, unforeseen, Eureka! moment that changes everything we know about computers, but it's tough to plan around something like that.

Offline Perry Constantine

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #83 on: August 10, 2017, 06:32:02 AM »
Maybe you can't, but I can.  I can say a few words and my phone will actually look up the person I want to say those few words too, no matter how far away or what continent the person may be on at the moment, and he can instantly respond. If that isn't telepathy, what is? I can communicate my thoughts at a distance without lifting a hand... This isn't based on something Elon Musk might be doing. It's based on something I've been doing personally for weeks, with an investment less than $1K in a shiny new phone. Something anybody on this forum can probably afford to do.

By this logic, I've been telepathic since I picked up a Razr with its fancy voice-dial option.

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #84 on: August 10, 2017, 08:02:44 AM »
By this logic, I've been telepathic since I picked up a Razr with its fancy voice-dial option.
And I am able to leap tall buildings in a single bound... every time I go to the airport.

We should form some sort of super-team! Or at the very least, a school where we can teach gifted youngsters to use these special powers.

Offline Perry Constantine

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #85 on: August 10, 2017, 08:22:22 AM »
And I am able to leap tall buildings in a single bound... every time I go to the airport.

We should form some sort of super-team! Or at the very least, a school where we can teach gifted youngsters to use these special powers.

I can also run 100 miles an hour...when I'm speeding in my car on the highway.

And I can see in the dark...when I use my phone's flashlight feature.

Offline Skip Knox

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #86 on: August 10, 2017, 09:13:56 AM »
But will they make a living at it? I've watched as DJs and karaoke operators have eroded work for live musicians. Yeah, we still play music. But who can live on peanuts?

It's disheartening to consider, but most people who played music for most of history did not make a living at it. They just played for themselves and their neighbors. Making a living at it was for a handful who played for the nobility and even then the work was precarious. Similarly, most who wrote did not live off the income; they had other sources. There's no reason to think the model of the past couple hundred years will be eternal.

No, I don't like it either.

Offline Word Fan

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Re: The Fifth Wave of Writing
« Reply #87 on: August 17, 2017, 11:15:29 AM »
O.K. David Pogue of Yahoo Finance, author of several volumes of The Missing Manual series of computer how-to books, guest technology reporter for CBS News, former technology reporter for the New York Times, talks with Martin Ford, author of the book Rise of the Robots.

The relevant quote is at 3:18 on this video from CBS news:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/automation-nation-2/

"Every 30 seconds there's a news story published on the web or maybe in a newspaper that is machine generated."

And at the end of a story today about sales performance at Walmart, there was this:

"Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research."