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Could a computer write this story? (Read 723 times)
Webbie
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Could a computer write this story?
May 12th, 2012, 7:14am
 
Straight from the "Welcome to the future" department.

(CNN) -- Computer applications can drive cars, fly planes, play chess and even make music.

But can an app tell a story?



Chicago-based company Narrative Science has set out to prove that computers can tell stories good enough for a fickle human audience.
It has created a program that takes raw data and turns it into a story, a system that's worked well enough for the company to earn its own byline on Forbes.com.

More here:
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/11/tech/innovation/computer-assisted-writing/inde...

Real world tech, interesting...
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Jeangoldstrom
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Re: Could a computer write this story?
Reply #1 - May 12th, 2012, 9:51am
 
Oh good grief, Charlie Brown!

Yes, I've read some submissions that I _thought_ were written by machines. But I have to agree with the person quoted in the story:

"Other experts are not as concerned. Greg Bowers, who teaches at the Missouri School of Journalism, says computers don't have the same capacity for pitch, emotion and story structure.

"I'm not alarmed about it as some people are," Bowers said. "If you're writing briefs that can be easily replicated by a computer, then you're not trying hard enough."

True words!

-- Jean
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Webbie
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Re: Could a computer write this story?
Reply #2 - May 13th, 2012, 9:43am
 
Jeangoldstrom wrote on May 12th, 2012, 9:51am:
Oh good grief, Charlie Brown!

Yes, I've read some submissions that I _thought_ were written by machines. But I have to agree with the person quoted in the story:

"Other experts are not as concerned. Greg Bowers, who teaches at the Missouri School of Journalism, says computers don't have the same capacity for pitch, emotion and story structure.

"I'm not alarmed about it as some people are," Bowers said. "If you're writing briefs that can be easily replicated by a computer, then you're not trying hard enough."

True words!

-- Jean


Or perhaps "If your brief writing seems like it's been written by a computer, your not trying hard enough"  <chuckle>

I've wondered about this kinda thing for awhile now. I've seen "Story Writing Programs" out there for awhile. But the differences between character sets (just in windows alone, not even counting the other OS's) seems to give web pages fits anyway. I couldn't really imagine a program writing a story until they can at the very least get some snippet of code to deal with such things as "Smart Quotes" for example.

Not to even mention such regional things as slang used in dialog between characters. At least it would all be spelled correctly, right?

I halve a spelling checker,
It came with my pea see.
It plainly marks four my revue
Mistakes I dew knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait aweigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the era rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

I've scent this massage threw it,
And I'm shore your pleased too no
Its letter prefect in every weigh;
My checker tolled me sew.

Wink
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C.N.Pitts
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Re: Could a computer write this story?
Reply #3 - May 30th, 2012, 8:26pm
 
(okay, for some reason the word "double-yew, oh, double-yew comes up as a weird generated phrase about computer spam, so lets try it again with spaces...)

W o w, someone managed to finally digitally reproduce an infinite number of monkeys. Tongue

This is just a rehash of the same idea behind that theory. Give a computer everything ever written, and tell it to mix and match everything until it writes a coherent story, no matter if it's just based on bits and pieces of everything else.

An infinite number of monkeys, with an infinite number of typewriters, will eventually reproduce the complete works of William Shakespeare. They will not, however, manage to produce a single original idea.

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Gary A. Markette
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Re: Could a computer write this story?
Reply #4 - May 31st, 2012, 1:16am
 
As an avid chess player, I once thought that a computer would NEVER be able to play as well as a human. Surely the game was too deep, too rich, too imaginatively complex for a bunch of sillicon and plastic to master it.

Today, for less than $50, anyone can buy a single disk program that easily defeats all but the most accomplished chess players. I think I read that the current top chess program yclept "Deep Blue" recently defeated the human world champion in a match. Heuristic programming moves closer and closer to reality and the Matrix looms about us.

All of that to say: don't bet against technology. Some of the best minds in the world are working hard to make better ones. A laptop Victor Hugo may not be as far fetched as we hope.
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