In a universe slowly sinking into entropy, writing can take the disordered pieces of our experience and fit their edges together into something organized. If the work of a writer is to tease out meaning from the tangled mess of life, many of these algorithms essentially do the opposite, taking meaningful human posts or experiences and reducing them to their barest reportable facts.
Posts Tagged: robots
Any Luddite with half a brain has already begun stockpiling nonperishables for the inevitable moment the robots rise up against us. Over at the Ploughshares blog, Joelle Renstrom recounts how writers were awakened to the threat of artificial intelligence:
A certain likeness to humans inspires kinship, but when the line blurs, that kinship turns to fear.
Don’t miss the official trailer, just released last week, for Moon Shot, a web documentary series directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, and produced by Epic Digital and Bad Robot, surrounding some of the scientifically savvy entrepreneurs competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE to send the first privately-funded robot to the moon....more
Last year physicist Stephen Hawking suggested that advanced artificial intelligence, or AI, could lead to the end of humanity. How are scientists working on this issue? Teaching robots empathy with books! Newsweek reports on the Quixote system, which teaches AI a human sense of right and wrong....more
Creepy robots were often at the heart of Philip K. Dick stories. The future is now: a company is building a realistic looking robot to haunt your dreams and it looks strikingly similar to the science fiction author. Electric Literature reports on the project from Hanson Robotics:
On their website, Hanson Robotics highlights their desire to “realize the dream of friendly machines who truly live and love, and co-invent the future of life.” Philip K.
A new website called Poetry for Robots seeks to find out whether robots can learn human poetic language. It was inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’s theory that despite humanity’s near-infinite capacity for creating distinct metaphors, we still use the same ones over and over again in literature, like comparing eyes to the stars....more
Is it conceivable for robots to compete with the “flesh-and-blood novelist?” Over at the BBC, Hephzibah Anderson explores the possibility and the ethical ramifications of algorithms writing the next Anna Karenina. So far, however, Anderson suggests that developers of such technologies have hit a snag:
Even if a string of zeroes and ones evolves to understand what it means to taste a childhood food in later life, or to feel the first splash of spring sunshine as a long winter loosens its grip, that algorithm won’t truly be able to know such experiences.
At Melville House, Liam O’Brien delves into the fictional and factual history of book-writing computers, from Roald Dahl’s “The Great Automatic Grammatizator” to the Russian computer that rewrote Anna Karenina in the style of Murakami. With some media outlets already using bots to pen articles, he wonders if the robots will be coming for literature next....more
In the first step of what will undoubtedly be the robot uprising, two robots will be joining the staff of the Westport, Connecticut library. The robots will primarily assist in teaching coding, but they’re also programmed to recognize faces, practice tai chi, and kick soccer balls....more