Friday, August 9, 2019

Now Some Writers Will Have to Compete With Computers!



The Creative Penn blog recently posted about how AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been used to create books.

Computers have already been used for quite a while to “write” news articles, particularly sports articles.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/2/14/18222270/artificial-intelligence-open-ai-natural-language-processing

https://digiday.com/media/washington-posts-robot-reporter-published-500-articles-last-year/

AI has been successfully utilized in many areas: chess, poker, medical research… The concept of “deep learning” enables a computer to play millions of games of chess, or poker, and learn what works and what does not. Now, these same capabilities of artificial intelligence are enabling computers to encroach upon the world of fiction writing. Feeding the AI millions of books and articles allows the computer to learn what makes a bestseller and what does not.
“The ‘write and publish faster’ model will soon be broken. You cannot write as fast as AI. It doesn’t get tired or burn out and it can consume millions of academic papers or books much faster than you can read. 
Publishers are not charities and authors are basically content creators, writing products to be sold. An in-house proprietary creative AI will work constantly with no hand-holding and no need to be looked after in any way. 
For example, what if my objective is to write a bestselling horror novel — and what if I give the AI the entire Stephen King backlist to learn from? 
Or the top 1000 bestselling horror novels from Amazon? 
I could probably do a rudimentary version of that right now with AWS Amazon Comprehend (which discovers insight and relationships in text) and then utilize a Natural Language Generation [Wikipedia] tool like GPT2, considered so dangerous that it has not been released (OpenAI), but of course, many other such tools will be created. 
The first movie has been created from a screenplay written by an AI [Ars Technica]. While the result might not be high art, it’s a first draft, and it took only a few minutes to create (after much deep learning from existing scripts).

If content is produced by AI at a faster rate in every medium — and possibly with the addition of translated material — then the tsunami of content will soon bury us all.
Authors and publishers already have to pay for Amazon Advertising to even be seen in the Amazon stores right now and this model will soon be broken as ads become too expensive for most.”
How will humans compete? You will have to abandon generic, formula-driven literature. You will have to write more about niche subjects, with strong emotional impact, something that computers will struggle with for a while. Another advantage to this approach: marketing is easier, more effective, if you write a narrower-niched, more focused work.
"The mass market is dead. Bestsellers are dead. Micro-niche will be everything and more granular discoverability will be better with AI, e.g. emotional resonance matching or specifics like I want a thriller set in Rome with a female protagonist who likes fast cars and Renaissance art. 
We’re starting to see this with Amazon Advertising auto-targeted ads. They were pretty bad a year ago but now they are starting to become more effective."
You can’t fight these developments. You can writer in your style, telling your stories (it’s not likely computers will be writing memoir, or tightly-niched history any time soon) with an intense devotion to craft. This may turn out to be a boom time to those writers who can writer for the love of story, language, ad the craft of writing.

"Publishers are businesses. They will use whatever tools they can to bring down the costs of doing business and authors are just content creators at the end of the day. Yes, your editor may love you, but it’s the accountants who make the decisions. 
You cannot win on speed when an AI can write a screenplay in two minutes, or generate a textbook, or translate a book faster than you can read this sentence. 
But there is one thing that you can do that AI cannot — be you. 
Move away from the ‘faster is better’ model to ‘artisan craftsmanship.’ Stand out by having a unique voice. Don’t write anything without giving it your own authentic stamp. Focus on local, imperfect, real connection with other humans."
Read the entire article.  

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