Could a Computer Program Ever Write a Great Work of Fiction?

It’s going to be a while before fans get their next Game of Thrones fix. The seventh season of the wildly popular fantasy series just concluded on HBO, and it will be at least a year (or possibly two) before the eighth and final season will air. And The Winds of Winter, George R.R. Martin's next installment of the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire still does not have a confirmed publication date. In the meantime, a software engineer has trained a computer program to digest all things Westeros and come up with what might happen next. The resulting five chapters were awkwardly worded, bordering on gibberish. While the plot twists are possible given the fantasy epic's track record of gasp-worthy moments, it also proves that artificial intelligence can’t yet duplicate what an accomplished writer can produce.

Fantasy meets technology:

  • Software engineer Zach Thoutt used a recurrent neural network (RNN) to produce the sequel, which predicts that "Varys poisons Daenerys" and that "Jaime kills Cersei."
  • A recurrent neural network is a computer program that processes data sequences, like text, in a manner similar to how this is done in the human brain.
  • “(Artificial intelligence) makes a lot of mistakes because the technology to train a perfect text generator that can remember complex plots over millions of words doesn't exist yet,” Thoutt said.
More Info: Live Science

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?