We’ve all heard the rumours that AI is coming to take our jobs. In this opinion piece, journalist Steph Newman investigates whether writers should be worried.
Artificial intelligence probably won’t be winning any literacy prizes any time soon.
I’ve written before about the use of artificial intelligence in journalism, and there is certainly potential for well-designed software to produce formulaic copy for certain types of articles, such as weather and sport reporting.
But what about more lyrical, creative forms of writing?
Could AI compose the next Pulitzer Prize-winning longform article?
Could it produce a novel on the New York Times’ best-seller list?
I decided to investigate.
I’ve been playing with a tool built by Adam King (@AdamDanielKing), an AI text generator that uses a language model called GPT-2 to create “coherent paragraphs of text one word at a time.”
“While GPT-2 was only trained to predict the next word in a text, it surprisingly learned basic competence in some tasks like translating between languages and answering questions,” writes King on his site.
Armed with a healthy dose of skepticism, I attempted to work with the generator to develop story prompts that could become potential works of creative writing.Here are some highlights (text in bold shows what I wrote, while unbolded text is what was generated by the software):
The toast was burning !!! I’m going to die !!! Don’t say I didn’t warn you !!!
I’m not sure why the software decided to employ triple exclamation marks, nor why the burning of toast implied, for the AI, the imminent death of the narrator.
The man was not very tall, but it was possible to see that he was quite a tall guy. Then, as if in a sudden turn of events… he suddenly stopped and stared at me! I thought to myself… He must be staring at me just now.. I was completely dumbfounded! So much for those tall tall men…
This puts me in mind of some of the poorer works of student fiction I used to read when I was working as an English tutor. I can easily imagine this appearing in the notebook of an unimaginative student in early secondary school. Needs more work 4/10. See me after class.
The President approached the podium and addressed the nation. “I know that many people don’t share my enthusiasm, because they have the ability to live a little bit less,” he said. “This is what I’m doing because it will help you be as successful, and have more success.”
I think all products should now be advertised with the line, “it will help you be as successful, and have more success.”
The desert stretched out in front of him as he looked into the sun as it rose behind him, and then behind him and then behind him again.
When he had completed everything and looked around again, the sun went down in an instant and the sand was replaced with a dark grey earth.
I no longer hold any fear that AI will take over my job as a writer anytime soon.
Once AI starts enrolling in creative writing workshops, then we should probably start getting concerned.
OOH transit company Adflow has announced the success of the first phase of its regional expansion program. Adflow’s regional footprint has increased by 60 per cent to now include 65 regional locations. With 9.1 million people living regionally in Australia (growth of 1.1 per cent experienced in the 19/20 Financial year) and most regional centres […]
Freshworks, a leading software company, has started trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, marking an important milestone for the company. The company priced its IPO at US$36 per share (AU$49.76), raising about US$1 billion (AU$1.4B), resulting in a total market capitalisation of AU$13.7 billion (US$10B). Freshworks, which was founded in India, has strong roots […]
Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the biggest player in the holiday shopping game and Google’s most recent research suggests consumer interest for the peak sales season starts much earlier than retailers may realise. The pandemic has fundamentally changed buyer behaviour over peak sales season, with Google suggesting that global consumer interest in Black Friday […]
Awindependent PR Agency Agent99 has added The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) to its client roster, alongside thought leader and commercial property specialist, Helen Tarrant. DISCUS is a national trade association representing U.S. producers, marketers, and exporters of distilled spirits. The account was won following a competitive pitch earlier this year. DISCUS has […]
Melbourne-based independent creative agency, By All Means, has today released limited edition ‘Locktown’ t-shirts to create a positive, artistic commemoration of their city, while shining a spotlight on the significant impact of lockdown on the mental health of Victorians. After 235 days under strict stay-at-home orders, Melbourne today claims the unenviable crown from Buenos Aires […]
Global marketing agency, Komodo, has announced it will be launching a dedicated TikTok arm to the business in Australia, following a series of key industry hires and new creators signed to their roster. The agency, who partners brands with social influencers across the globe, aims to bring a new dimension to influencer marketing by assisting brands […]
According to Fifth Dimension CEO Lyndall Spooner, whether you like roller coasters or not, we have all been riding ‘Dashed Hopes’ the COVID-19 emotional roller coaster for over 18 months and many of us have turned to online retail therapy to cope. Spooner uses the analogy of an emotional roller coaster to depict consumers’ […]
Underscoring its ongoing commitment to team care and wellbeing, during and beyond the pandemic, Havas Village Australia has introduced be together – a reconnection initiative to enable staff to reconnect with loved ones for longer when domestic and international borders reopen. The initiative, which reflects the Havas core value ‘Better Together’, gives staff from Host/Havas, […]
Global ecommerce and marketplace specialist Pattern has ranked a group of 50 brands selling on Amazon.com.au based on a set of best practice criteria it has developed. Pet brand Zenify topped the ranking in Pattern’s Amazon Australia Benchmarking Report, scoring 82 per cent of the possible marks against a set of criteria designed to measure […]
Fifth Dimension Consulting has announced the expansion of its executive leadership team in response to the organisation’s significant growth over the last 18 months. Lyndall Spooner has moved from the position of managing director to the role of chief executive officer (CEO). As CEO, she will lead Fifth Dimensions’ innovation arm, as well as the […]