I Tried To Write Stories Using Artificial Intelligence & It Did Not Go Well

Hands of robot and human touching on global virtual network connection future interface. Artificial intelligence technology concept.
SHARE
THIS



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.talk to transformerHere are some highlights (text in bold shows what I wrote, while unbolded text is what was generated by the software):

snip 2
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.

not tall
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.

success

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.”
sunThe 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.  

Please login with linkedin to comment

AI journalism writing

Latest News

Australian Retailers – How Can You Stand Out From The Pack On Social?
  • Partner Content

Australian Retailers – How Can You Stand Out From The Pack On Social?

At Zavy, we track the movings and shakings of brands across a range of industries on our social scoreboards. We want to see brands use social media as a space for real brand building and connecting with people – after all, that’s what it was created for. In their ground-breaking advertising report, The Long and […]

Partner Content

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Chobani Unveils New Brand Campaign Via Cummins&Partners
  • Campaigns

Chobani Unveils New Brand Campaign Via Cummins&Partners

Cummins&Partners has redefined what the next decade will look like for Chobani in its new brand campaign Food Made Good. Building on the four years of partnership between Cummins&Partners and Chobani, this campaign was born through strategic leadership to uncover the truth at the core of the brand and bring it to life through a […]

me&u Appoints Clementine Churchill To Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

me&u Appoints Clementine Churchill To Head Of Marketing

me&u, Australia’s first and leading mobile ordering and payment platform, has appointed Clementine Churchill as Head of Marketing as they continue to drive rapid growth and expansion in Australia and new international markets. A highly experienced marketing leader and recognised industry thought leader, Churchill joins me&u from My Muscle Chef, one of Australia’s top rated […]

MILO Asks Fans To Compete To Win #TheMILOCup In New Campaign Via Ogilvy
  • Marketing

MILO Asks Fans To Compete To Win #TheMILOCup In New Campaign Via Ogilvy

MILO is on the search for Australia’s best made MILO, calling on fans to share their creations for the chance to win #TheMILOCup, via Ogilvy Sydney. This integrated campaign follows on from the success of last year’s ‘Hot v Cold’ campaign, which encouraged Aussies to settle the debate on whether MILO is best enjoyed hot […]

New ANZ Research Shows That LGBTQ+ Visual Representation Relies On Stereotypes
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

New ANZ Research Shows That LGBTQ+ Visual Representation Relies On Stereotypes

New research from Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, has found that LGBTQ+ representation in ANZ remains low and stereotypical. It’s 2021 – this needs to change – especially in marketing and advertising. In partnership with GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ media advocacy organisation, Getty Images has launched a full-spectrum Guidebook in direct response to […]

Dir David Attenborough’s Life Stories Launches On LiSTNR
  • Media

Dir David Attenborough’s Life Stories Launches On LiSTNR

Natural historian Sir David Attenborough is one of the most commanding and respected storytellers in the world and now the iconic series, David Attenborough Life Stories, is available on LiSTNR as part of SCA’s recently announced partnership with the BBC. David Attenborough Life Stories is a series of talks on the natural histories of creatures and […]

Menulog Makes Key Marketing Promotions
  • Media

Menulog Makes Key Marketing Promotions

Menulog has doubled down on its marketing support for restaurant partners, with the promotion of Senior Marketing Manager, Rami Tamer, to a newly created role of ‘Head of Partner Marketing’, as well as the promotion of former-Blue 449 Performance Manager, Jaryd Buggins. In the new Head of Partner Marketing role, Rami will lead a team […]

Barry Drinkwater Leaves ARN Brisbane After 28 Years, Will Hand Over Reins To Alisson Longhurst
  • Media

Barry Drinkwater Leaves ARN Brisbane After 28 Years, Will Hand Over Reins To Alisson Longhurst

ARN has announced Barry Drinkwater will be handing over his content director reins at 97.3FM and 4KQ to respected radio executive, Alisson Longhurst. Drinkwater has had a stellar career in radio spanning more than four decades, and was acknowledged as one of Australia’s Top 20 Content Directors by Radio Today in 2020. He began his radio career […]

Australian Radio Industry Joins Global Working Group On Android Automotive
  • Media

Australian Radio Industry Joins Global Working Group On Android Automotive

The Australian commercial radio industry has joined a global working group of broadcasters, carmakers and tech experts collaborating on the innovation of radio in Android Automotive. Android Automotive is Google’s infotainment operating system which is being built into new connected cars. Industry body Commercial Radio Australia is part of the working group, led by the […]

Triple M’s No Talk Day Returns To Inspire Conversation Around Men’s Mental Health
  • Media

Triple M’s No Talk Day Returns To Inspire Conversation Around Men’s Mental Health

For the third consecutive year, Triple M’s No Talk Day will return on Thursday July 1 to raise awareness around men’s mental health and encourage courageous conversations on Triple M’s 45 stations across the country with support from partner Beyond Blue.  From 6:00am – 6:00pm on July 1, Triple M is encouraging listeners to clear […]

Thrive PR Wins SodaStream Account
  • Marketing

Thrive PR Wins SodaStream Account

The farting in the Thrive PR office rises expodentially after the agency snares the SodaStream business.

Businessman using tablet payments online shopping with speed icons customer and data network connection on virtual screen.
  • Marketing

62% Of Shoppers Doing Most Of Their Purchases Online: BigCommerce And PayPal Report

Consumer shifts in how and where people buy products evolved significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new opportunities for retailers to use new channels, fulfilment strategies and payment options, according to the results of a new survey out today from BigCommerce and PayPal. While a majority of the 3,000 consumers surveyed from the United States, United Kingdom […]