Artificial Intelligence Writes Fables

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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 (April 2022, Rowman & Littlefield). 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 IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →