First and foremost, now seems to be a good time to point out that the Big Wakeup Call has a new internet home. No longer satisfied with being the king of Aurora radio, it has moved on to be an international podcast. This makes it easier for our global fans to listen in as well as for curious newcomers to get sucked into Ryan’s wonderful web of wackiness. For today’s madcap episode, feel free to listen first and then come back, we decided to take a look at the progress artificial intelligence (AI) has made in the world of literature. Back in 2017 a programmer named Zak Thoutt programmed an AI (that’s what programmers do) to write Game of Thrones. This is why programmers never get invited to parties. Well, that, and no one really cares about how to manipulate Boolean strings. Not even the pretty girl who forgot her bra and desperately needs a drink can be coerced into caring.
What the curious Mr. Thoutt’s AI wrought was an abomination unto God.
“We asked so much to discuss it when the battle’s passed. A mummer will Serve as well, the road is yours. It’s nailed up the walls and stones for all the boys. Notch, rednose.”
The Hound found her. Ser had sent the King through the harbor, to summon the black brothers who had donned his horned veins. The fools he’d wed with him, had all been reborn. “Why, I know? He was bleeding, covered his whole legs on shoulders of the snow. He will stand on deck for the fish a fortnight, and never kill one. A blade is no longer, yes, she thought, but he couldn’t take much food.
It is an effort. Mine uncle had do the same color. She could hardly count by death.
Long story short, it was bad enough to inspire me to write a story. Originally titled BREASTS IN SPACE my story, ‘George,’ was (still is) a scathing and satirical look at the young adult genre. Because, obviously, when you think of Game of Thrones you think of randy teens. The plot was straightforward; an agent attempts to prove no sane person would buy exploitive crap and ends up becoming a millionaire. Her client’s sister attempts to prove a bad computer could write better, and the apocalypse begins. Believe it or not, this not only got published, people liked it. Grab your copy of Just a Minor Malfunction to find out what all the fuss was about.
Not content with Mr. Thoutt’s efforts, a company known as Botnik took a shot at having an AI write the entire final season of Game of Thrones. Click the link at your own peril. It’s no better than anything I already shared. It’s, quite possibly, worse. Even so, given how bad the final season actually was, it couldn’t have hurt to give this a shot. Go ahead and click that last link. You’ve earned it.
I will warn you that there are far fewer gratuitous boobs and dragons in Botnik’s version than you might wish.
Nevertheless, time marched merrily on and the world remained blissfully unaware of AIs or their scribblings.
In May of 2020 Nvidia released an AI writing program named Jarvis. Shortly thereafter, thanks to a pleasant chat with Marvel’s lawyers concerning the name they owned in all markets now known or hereafter developed, they changed the name to Jasper.
Lawyers are really just whimsical pixies when it comes to intellectual property rights.
All of that brings us to this.
Internationally renowned author, Derek Murphy, who specializes in the art and craft of writing, decided to take Jasper out of its box and give it a test drive.
The result is fascinating.
Rather than the bumbling word salad we suffered before, the new results showed promise. To save some time here, allow me to summarize what Derek did. First he trained his AI, which is similar to training your dragon but without the flame and height induced vertigo, and then built on each success until he got to the point he felt comfortable letting Jarvis loose on an original concept. Apparently he reached that point sooner rather than later.
In this case he asked it to create an original fantasy work where Jarvis not only wrote the story but the advertising blurb. Those are skills that elude some human writers. Trust me, I slog through blurbs in my role as Assistant Editor for ICC Magazine and constantly rue the day I quit drinking. So, to say he had my attention would be an understatement. To say I was impressed? That would be as well.
Here’s the blurb Jarvis wrote.
Davit has always wanted to be a fierce dragon rider, flying through the skies and protecting the kingdom. But instead he’s stuck in a dead-end job living in poverty, stuck in the mud and grime of Ardvint. But when he meets a mysterious girl with a secret package, he become embroiled in a conspiracy that brings him closer than he imagined to the scaled beasts of the upper class. Suddenly, his wildest dreams are within reach… if he can survive long enough to see them come true.
Go ahead, I defy you to find any serious faults with that blurb. It’s as good, if not better, than any of the releases you’ll find on Amazon.
Derek also shares entire sections written by Jarvis and then points out some astonishing facts.
Even though this is really basic, it also generated/invested new plot development ideas, which is pretty amazing!
- 1. he meets her and goes to save her kingdom
- 2. they defeat the sorcerer and almost kiss
- 3. they need to save her parents as well
- 4. the bad guys come for revenge
- 5. the sorcerer was hiding inside the castle
It starts to get repetitive or redundant, but that’s because it’s working from the same story prompt, and I really need to give it a specific scene prompt.
So the process is ongoing. That doesn’t make its progress any less impressive.
If you’re a writer I strongly suggest you read Derek’s complete article. AI need not be our replacement, it could be a boon to our writing as well.
Of course, given humanity’s track record with sentient beings, which is where AI is headed, in subservient roles, I’m pretty sure we’re just grooming our impending robot overlords.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.