2017/12/29

Will Automation Replace Authors?

Workers in myriad fields are feeling the crunch of automation. Are authors next? Listen to a professional voice actor reading a selection from a Harry Potter fanfic written by bots and judge for yourself.


NB: My award-winning Soul Cycle--including the final thrilling installment The Ophian Rising--is currently discounted 20% on Amazon, but only for three more days. Experience one of the most innovative new worlds in science fiction today!

The Ophian Rising - Brian Niemeier
Such an exceptional series with some of the most unique world building I have come across. 

17 comments:

  1. Brian,
    The answer is no. For textbooks and other formulaic text like basic language learning and math drilling yes. For creative writing no. No matter how plausible it sounds that automated writing will always lack cultural context and

    Happy new year!
    xavier

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy new year to you, as well.

      The embedded video bears on your prediction.

      I highly recommend that everyone watch the clip before commenting.

      Delete
  2. That bot has a long way to go; while it can form sentences, everything is incoherent, and the scenes don't flow into each other.

    Bots may replace us one day, but that day isn't today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If someone would have taken this, changed the names, and handed it to Lit Pub they would be hailed as the next Joyce.

      Delete
    2. Looks like bots can replace fanfic writers, then.

      Delete
  3. If the movie industry is anything to go by . . . yes. Lowering standards paired with this bot only getting better is a combination we should be fearful of.

    Authors are only a matter of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JD
      To reiterate my contention. No not for true story telling. But yes for the Dan Brown and other true hack writers (I think the bots would be an improvement) as well as formulaic writing like textbooks, basic language learning, math drills/word problems.

      Authours, like you, Brian, John Wright, Rawle, Ben Cheah and the rest of Pulprev/Superversive writers have little to worry about. Machine have no creativity because they're tools with material souls not the soul from the true creator.
      Remember we'll always be subcreators presenting our modest works to the master; machines can't do that, won't do that no matter how much the techno gnostics gibber to the contrary.


      Happy New year!
      xavier

      Delete
    2. Happy New Year!

      Thank you for the kind words. I'm not particularly worried about properly written books going away, but after recent events have brought me back to looking over the music industry . . . I can't help but see parallels.

      All this means is that we have to stay at the top of our game. Getting lazy is fatal.

      Delete
    3. JD
      Laziness kills agreed. But since we readers and fans are a tough lot :p we give you an incentive. The other is the genuine love to entertain.
      So as long as writers have both you'll be
      xavier

      Delete
  4. The interesting thing I say yes but owning next big author AI well you have to train it and Imo the real creative power will be with authors and AI trainers that look for good stories instead of Grey simlar mush.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think it might be worth looking into procedurally generated games. I haven't delved into them much myself, but I suspect that many of the advantages and drawbacks of procedurally generated novels would be similar. If I am correct, then as the process is perfected I think we can reasonably expect them to take up a noticeable but by no means overwhelming (or even necessarily particularly large) share of the market, mostly displacing lower quality work that's more paint-by-the-numbers and easier to replicate. Choose-your-own-adventure stories might make something of a comeback, though that niche has to a degree been filled by games.

    Of course, as EmpReb mentioned above, an awful lot would depend on the programmers and authors. And, if it does happen, it would really take the whole "formula writer" schtick to the next level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's the thing: eBooks are a post-scarcity commodity. There's no physical limit to the size of the market, so human and AI authors should be able to coexist.

      Delete
    2. Time is still scarce, money can be, too, and there are only so many customers to go around in any case. The size of the market is limited not by supply, but demand. I realize it's not perfectly analogous to games, but I'm mostly going off of how theoretically infinite procedurally generated games have not even crowded out finite "handmade" games within their own genres, let alone the market as a whole.

      Also, another possible application of such tech has occurred to me. What if, instead of selling the novels written by programs, one simply sold the software? A sort of story-on-demand thing, making up for low quality and strict formulae by means of low price and convenience? Plug in a few parameters and get a story to order, subject to the limitations and quirks of the program.

      Delete
    3. Gasp! You mean improve on Dan Brown or Scalzi?
      Happy new year!
      xavier

      Delete
  6. Lol I was going to say yes, then I actually listened to the video. Certainly not today!

    ReplyDelete