Will a Robot Ever Write a Book?

CTO and co-founder of Narrative Science, Kristian Hammond, predicted one day a computer will win a Pulitzer Prize. If this seems too far fetched, consider that computers are already writing articles co-authored with humans. For now they mostly cover sports broadcasting, but the trend seems to be getting larger as computer programmers are becoming more ambitious.

Now that computers are driving cars, and beating masters at their own game, who knows what else they can accomplish. But there is something frightening about the idea of computers entering into the world of creatives. One of the things we cherish most about being human is our ability to create, to be spontaneous, and to inspire others. If computers learn how to write poetry or literature, what is left for the human being?

For now, it seems artificial intelligence has been struggling to capture human emotion. Microsoft released an A.I. chatbot on Twitter as an example of how technology can learn and interact with humans. It quickly turned into a racist. The tweet below is the most tame of Tay’s political rants. 

A now deleted tweet from @tayandyou

Even though that project failed, there is another bot on Twitter that is getting some attention. Computer program JanusNode writes its own poetic verses and even tweets too. You can follow the program here. There is something about the tweets that are oddly – alive. But is it truly A.I? Maybe not yet, but progress is definitely being made.

One of the most famous detractors from the A.I craze is the famous astrophysicist Neil Degrass Tyson. He does not believe any of the hype that robots are going to surpass our creative endeavors. In fact, he passionately argues against the idea.

Anybody can sit back in their chair and ponder whether robots will take over our lives in the future. Many don’t want to come out and say what they think. Nobody wants to be quoted as one of those people who thought the computer was nothing more than a fad. Hopefully, if robots do become more like us, we can find a way to live side by side, rather than one dominating the other. What do you think?


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