- Woman matches on Tinder with LaCroix thief—and his victim Tuesday 7:38 PM
- U.K. police will have to disclose documents about WikiLeaks journalists Tuesday 6:37 PM
- Backpack Kid sues Fortnite developer over flossing emote Tuesday 5:38 PM
- Conservatives rage at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘week of self-care’ Tuesday 4:02 PM
- 2 inflatable snowmen fought in front of a combo KFC/Taco Bell Tuesday 2:47 PM
- How to watch the Boca Raton Bowl online for free Tuesday 2:43 PM
- DAZN KOs YouTube, Snapchat as (temporarily) the most downloaded app Tuesday 1:57 PM
- AT&T says it’s rolling out 5G service this week Tuesday 1:03 PM
- NY state senator tells woman staffer ‘Kill yourself!’ in a tweet Tuesday 12:54 PM
- This Lil Jon-Kool-Aid Man Christmas jam is as extra as you’d expect Tuesday 12:13 PM
- YouTube stars say unfair copyright claims are making their lives hell Tuesday 12:12 PM
- UPS deletes tweet about shredding letters to North Pole after huge backlash Tuesday 11:21 AM
- Viral petition leads to revised Holland Tunnel Christmas decor Tuesday 11:10 AM
- Paul Ryan’s self-serving farewell tour is the bane of the internet right now Tuesday 10:59 AM
- ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ renewed for seasons 3 and 4 Tuesday 10:59 AM
Eat your heart out, Microsoft Tay.
In the same week that Microsoft’s teen Twitter bot, Tay, was transformed into a sexually voracious Hitler apologist by trolls who abused her machine learning algorithms, a Japanese artificial intelligence program wrote a short story that was considered for a literary prize.
As the old programming adage goes: Garbage in, garbage out.
The AI-assisted novel, co-written by Hitoshi Matsubara and his team at the Future University in Hakodate, was one of more than 1,400 contenders for this year’s Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award, Vice’s Motherboard reports. Eleven of them were written (or co-written) by computers.
Matsubara’s AI-assisted book, “The Day a Computer Writes a Novel,” is about a computer that dreams of writing novels and eventually stops serving humans in order to pursue the creative life. If that seems a little on the nose, it’s because humans created the plot and characters, as well as some pre-written sentences and words—but let the computer do the rest.
“I writhed with joy, which I experienced for the first time, and kept writing with excitement,” it wrote. Damn.
Was the story persuasively human? Kind of! It passed the first stage of the four-round competition, with one science fiction author praising its plot structure. The characters, though, were said to be underdeveloped.
Bots as art, and as reflections of our humanity, are some of the most interesting things happening on the Internet right now. Artificial intelligence isn’t quite human—it has yet to develop its own creativity, but it’s becoming a compelling medium for expressing ours.
At least for now, bots are only as good as the humans controlling them.
Photo via shutterhacks/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.