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Author Topic: The Fifth Wave of Writing  (Read 3489 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You shouldn't worry though since you can always go back to your day job; unless it has been replaced by AI.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

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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.

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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.

Offline C. Gold

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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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Offline 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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Online ShaneJeffery

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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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Offline 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.

Offline C. Gold

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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.

Offline dianapersaud

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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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