Artificial Intelligence Writes Fables


A new computer program can write fables, reports the Guardian. The Moral Storytelling System, devised by Margaret Sarlej at the University of New South Wales, chooses a moral and determines a sequence of events. But the resulting stories so far remain fairly basic and Sarlej doubts the software will ever replace novelists. She instead sees the app as a new way of experiencing storytelling.

Breaking stories down for a computer “involves not only encoding story elements like characters, events, and plot, but also the ‘common sense’ people take for granted”, said Sarlej. Telling a story is simple enough for a child to do, but stories are actually “incredibly complex”.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →