Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Novel Co-Authored By An Artificial Intelligence Program Longlisted For Japanese SciFi Literary Prize

From the Yomiuri Shimbun's The Japan News: 

AI-written novel passes literary prize screening
The Yomiuri Shimbun
A short-form novel “coauthored” by humans and an artificial intelligence (AI) program passed the first screening process for a domestic literary prize, it was announced on Monday. However, the book did not win the final prize.

Two teams submitted novels that were produced using AI. They held a press conference in Tokyo and made the announcement, which follows the recent victory of an AI program over a top Go player from South Korea. These achievements strongly suggest a dramatic improvement in AI capabilities.
The following sentences come from the end of one of the the novels, “Konpyuta ga shosetsu wo kaku hi” (The day a computer writes a novel):
“I writhed with joy, which I experienced for the first time, and kept writing with excitement.
“The day a computer wrote a novel. The computer, placing priority on the pursuit of its own joy, stopped working for humans.”
That novel was submitted for the third Nikkei Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award by a team headed by Hitoshi Matsubara, a professor at Future University Hakodate. Humans decided the parameters for the novel, such as the plot and gender of characters. The AI program then “wrote” the novel by selecting words or sentences prepared by humans and in accordance with the parameters, according to the team.

At the press conference, science fiction novelist Satoshi Hase said: “I was surprised at the work because it was a well-structured novel. But there are still some problems [to overcome] to win the prize, such as character descriptions.”...MORE
HT: GE Reports

Brooklyn's Melville House, publisher of the LSE's David Graeber also had a post:

Short story “written” by robot doesn’t win Japanese literary award
Just last week, an evil, god-like robot defeated Go grandmaster Lee Sedol, a tragic accomplishment that seemed decades away in 2012. In some ways it completed the Triple Crown of robot-fun-killing which began with Garry Kasparov‘s defeat at the hands of DeepBlue in 1997 and continued with the ritual slaughter of Ken Jennings on Jeopardy in 2011.

And now, the robots are coming for our books. As reported by Japan News, researchers from Japan’s Future University Hakodate have announced that a book co-written by team members and artificial intelligence made it onto the long list of the Nikkei Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award.

The prize itself is somewhat unique. It was established in 2013 to honor Hoshi Shinichi, one of Japan’s most beloved and prolific authors of science fiction. In 2014, Hoshi’s daughter Marina Hoshi Whytemade made the decision to accept literature written by robots and computers. As reported by Alison Flood for the Guardian in 2014:...MORE
Also at Melville House this month:

World’s least fun book club rocked by scandal
Hail and Farewell, Bookslut!