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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Friends,

It's been a while! I'm here because today I launched the beta signups for TextSpark AI: a playful new AI co-writing tool that we've been alpha testing for the last few months. It helps authors and writers brainstorm new ideas, push through writer's block, and speed up their writing by co-editing along with their story and picking up context from the last several hundred words they've recently written (including style, characters, and voice).

It also has all the basic tools we've come to expect from many of the popular writing programs (available for free in a web-based framework), and it will offer a baseline level of generated words free of charge every month so that it's accessible to writers of all income levels. I wanted to share it with you and invite you to come and help us make the best possible writing tool for professional author use cases. You can check it out and sign up for beta here:

https://textspark.ai/

I'm very much aware that the topic of AI writing acceleration is... touchy... to say the least, with many authors, and that opinions run hot on both sides. In showing this to alpha testers, responses ranged from "This is the most incredible thing I've ever seen and I love it and want it now" to "This is the work of the devil, you're a monster for building it, burn it down, this is trash, why would you do this to the industry, you have no morals."

And I completely understand both perspectives. This tech can be scary. It scared me as an author when I first saw it too.

I played with GPT-2 last year and realized that it wasn't really there in terms of quality to help with writing. But this summer I got the chance to play with the latest AI models (GPT-3 and custom trained/modified models like ours) among them... and I was stunned. The tech is here whether we're ready for it or not, and it's only going to get better. When I realized that many authors are quietly using this tech right now to enhance their writing practice and that it was only available to the lucky, tech-savvy, and well-connected, that didn't sit well with me.

So I talked to some ML specialists, got busy, and built TextSpark. Now, at least, the playing field is more even and the tech will be accessible to everyone. Our model is already good for many use cases, and models like ours will continue to improve in writing quality over the next few years. I'd like to invite all of you to come, check it out, play with it, and use it--or not! It's entirely up to you if it can help you or not.

What I've found in working with it is that it's NOT an author replacement (and it's not intended to be). It works best as an accelerator that you shape and edit as you go, calling it in to push through scenes where you feel stuck so you can stay in the flow. And it's really fun to write with, even if you decide that it's not to your taste for longform prose. It feels a lot like improv--riffing on fun concepts and calling in a pal to toss you a few words that might spark some new creativity here and there.

There are many different writers with different goals, needs, writing styles, and skill levels out there, and I really believe that this tool will help many of them. I wanted to make this brief announcement so people who are interested can check it out. I hope you'll come help us make the best tool possible and ensure that AI acceleration isn't only for the lucky, connected, or highly tech-savvy people out there.

Sincerely,
Alexis Radcliff
TextSpark AI
 

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Greetings, AlexisR! You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: http://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post.

You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion.

Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

You may find that members ask searching questions -- about how your service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service. Such "vetting" is a common here and can be rigorous.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service in this thread. That includes sharing both positive and negative experiences/interactions they've had with you or your service. You may respond to criticism in a civil manner, but name-calling, badgering, accusations of lying, and other breaches of forum decorum can lead to loss of vendor posting privileges.

Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

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Becca
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Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.

Vendor threads are permitted in the Writers' Cafe not only as a form of advertising that benefits vendors but also to provide one location where reviews of vendors can be concentrated and more easily brought to the attention of the whole community. For this reason, we make a reasonable attempt to maintain threads even for vendors with whom multiple customers report negative experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bite the Dusty said:
This might be a dumb question, but wouldn't that end up a copyright issue?
Not a dumb question at all! It depends what you mean. If you're asking about whether you get into copyright issues with the app or algorithm itself, the short answer is a clear no. Our position (and the position of most companies in the AI business) is that while the software is copyrighted, the generative output is yours to do with as you wish. All content created by our users will always be theirs and we claim no ownership of it and require no attribution.

If you're asking about plagiarism, the answer is still no: Because of the way the algorithm uses predictive heuristics to find an appropriate next word (rather than selecting from pre-generated sections of text) and has been tuned on a very diverse and large data set, the odds of you reproducing someone else's work are basically nil. You have a better chance of accidentally plagiarizing someone from memory without realizing it than having the app do it for you.

The words selected are chosen in a way analogous to how humans might pick the next word in a sequence: Given what you've already written, the scene you've set up, the tone you've created, and the characters you've established, what is the likeliest next word that "fits" here based on every piece of media you've ever consumed before? Just like there are tropes and phrases and patterns we get used to when we read heavily in one genre versus another, AI algorithms learn to recognize meta-level patterns and suggest words that make sense when you ask it to help you out with another few words in the sequence to keep you moving along.

I hope that answers your question!
 

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This looks really interesting. I heard Joanna Penn talking about GPT-3 on her podcast and it sounded amazing.
 

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AlexisR said:
I hope that answers your question!
You did, and then some. I was just looking at it like a co-author situation. Would using the software mean that the author didn't have sole copyright of the resulting work? That's what I was wondering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lydniz said:
This looks really interesting. I heard Joanna Penn talking about GPT-3 on her podcast and it sounded amazing.
Thank you! I hope you'll come join us in beta for feedback and help us improve it. :)

The more I work with AI-based tools, the less it concerns me about compromising or replacing the vision of the artist and the more I see how powerful it can be as a fun and helpful accelerator of realizing your artistic vision. It's a blast to work with and you can use it as much or as little as is useful for your process.
 

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AlexisR said:
Thank you! I hope you'll come join us in beta for feedback and help us improve it. :)
Yes, I've put my name down. I'm very interested to see what it can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for everyone who's been signing up for beta so far! The feedback has been awesome and I really appreciate the participation.

I wanted to briefly drop in to say that we're finally opening things up and going full open beta tomorrow in celebration of NaNoWriMo, so if you haven't yet had the chance to play around with TextSpark, the sign-up form should be live tomorrow for anyone to come check it out.

We're also doing a few fun things for the month of November, including a new author spotlight contest where we'll be highlighting the best submissions written with TextSpark this month and granting those authors a feature slot on the website and a cash prize to help them pay for publishing costs and get them going on their journey (whether they're polishing up their manuscript for tradpub or trying to do it themselves and go indie)!

Please drop by and check it out if this appeals to you--I'd love to make this tool as useful as possible for writers of all kinds!

https://textspark.ai/
 
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