Authors and AI unite: the arrival of AI-augmented writing

Artificial intelligence will be able to read and understand news articles and create its own stories, changing the way we think about information and consume it. At least that’s an idea generated by a web-based artificial intelligence (AI) application that writes short stories.

Its creator, Rodolfo Ocampo, doctoral student at the School of Art and Design at UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture, investigates how AI can enhance human creativity. His research involves co-developing an interactive model where humans and AI have creative conversations. The idea is to investigate how humans can draw inspiration from stories from an AI-generated starting point.

“I think we have a say in where [AI] the technology is going,” he says. “So it’s important to consider how humans interact with AI in a way that helps us in our creative process.”

Ocampo sees AI not as a substitute for human creativity, but as a creative partner. In the case of Narrative device – the creative AI system behind the main sentence of this story – he says the main benefit is to help people overcome creative blocks.

“Feedback I’ve received from users is that it helps overcome the blank slate problem, which is a big hurdle at the start of writing, providing an initial spark that kicks off the creative process,” he says. . “More generally, it can also keep the creative flow going later in a project, giving you ideas that can help you get through times when you’re a little stuck.”

Narrative device was built by Mr. Ocampo using the OpenAI GPT3 API, one of the most powerful natural language models to date, trained on millions of gigabytes of textual data from the Internet. The algorithm parses web text to create an opening paragraph based on a user’s two topical inputs – in the case of the opening paragraph of this story – “news” and “artificial intelligence”. So far, over 4 million short stories have been generated using the tool.


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IT creativity

While The Narrative Device value was Trained specifically to create news, Ocampo says other tools use the same underlying principles for creating poetry, writing press releases and reviewing research papers. With a few tweaks, Mr. Ocampo says he could even produce a long and comprehensive story. But he says it’s better to support, rather than replace, human creativity.

“While this may yield a full story, it’s interesting to see how humans interact with creative algorithms,” he says. “Because we consider creative pursuits to be one of the things we like to do the most as humans, I wonder if we would want to automate that.”

He says another focus on creative algorithms is how they will open up new avenues and means of creative expression.

“Every creative tool throughout history, from paintbrush to keyboard, influences the creative process because it has specific affordances that drive creativity in a certain direction,” Ocampo says. “An AI system, with far more agency and initiative than such tools, is exciting to see how it can influence the process to a greater extent.”

But Mr Ocampo says AI creativity is unlikely to entirely replace the need for human creativity. But he says that doesn’t mean he won’t become more prominent.

“I don’t know if we would appreciate fully automated creative artifacts, because one of the main draws of art is the artist you connect with. If something is entirely robot generated, I’m not sure that we address it at that level,” he says.

“I think it is inevitable that we will consume some form of AI-generated content, especially music and video, in the near future. And if the metaverse comes to fruition, many experiences will be generated by algorithms .


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Art: evolution or end?

Ocampo says there are important ethical implications to consider as AI enters more of the creative space, particularly as social media platforms explore AI-generated content.

“Perhaps on a business level, content distribution could one day become fully automated and AI-powered, which has dire economic and cultural implications. creative pursuits,” he says.

Mr. Ocampo says that even though AI-generated content dominated our newsfeeds and playlists, creativity is still naturally human. Ultimately, when it comes to human creativity, he predicts that AI systems will participate rather than take over.

“Even in these scenarios, I don’t see human creativity dying,” he says. “I think humans will always need creativity. It is very fundamental to who we are that we need to express ourselves and be creative.

“If anything, AI could one day give us all the time in the world to make all the art we want.”


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Scott R. Banks