Can intelligent writing be artificial?

21 Nov 2019 | Research & Business Knowledge

Blog written by ICG member Carol Raithatha

How would you feel if you found out your favourite novel had been written by an algorithm and not a human as you had naively believed? Does the writing lose its emotional impact and meaning? Where in the writer to reader continuum is being a human non-negotiable? In fact, what does it take to be a human?

I’d been attending a networking event. The topic was creative business writing. There’d been an engaging discussion around themes such as the need for creativity, what defines writing success, and valuable hints and tips for ‘good’ writing from the more experienced in the room.

But as the discussion drew to a close, an uncomfortable (for me) thought emerged. Will any of us be writing in the future? Will the activity that we now call writing even exist? Maybe all that will be needed is to suggest ideas, concepts, style, and length, and let our AI companion get out its pen and digital ink to do the rest.

Of course, there is a difficult follow on question to the above discussion: When AI entities are ‘enjoying’ or at least finding writing from other AI entities useful – what is the role for humans? 

Maybe we need to start thinking about AI as an extension to our community rather than a tool or even a threat … I don’t know, but I would love to be a flybot on the wall of life, say in 2041, to see where our relationship with intelligence (be it natural or artificial), ideas, storytelling, and creation ends up!