Skip to main content

Google has AI writing 'rather dramatic' fiction as it learns to speak naturally

Google has AI writing 'rather dramatic' fiction as it learns to speak naturally

Share this story

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google is training AI to speak more naturally, and the early results are pretty entertaining. As spotted by Quartz, Google recently presented a paper describing how it's trying to train AI to naturally fill in the gaps between one sentence and another unrelated sentence. To do that, it's using a new neural network model that's been trained by analyzing 12,000 ebooks, primarily fiction — with a lot of those being romance novels.

The technique is working, insofar as it's getting better results than earlier methods did. But its results are still unnatural — and often, they end up creating what the researchers describe as "rather dramatic" sequences that are certainly inspired by the fiction Google's been feeding it.

Here are some of the samples the paper provides. The bolded sentences are what the researchers told the AI to start with and stop on. I've cleaned up some of the punctuation, but otherwise this is straight from the machine:

this was the only way.
it was the only way.
it was her turn to blink.
it was hard to tell.
it was time to move on.
he had to do it again.
they all looked at each other.
they all turned to look back.
they both turned to face him.
they both turned and walked away.

there is no one else in the world.
there is no one else in sight.
they were the only ones who mattered.
they were the only ones left.
he had to be with me.
she had to be with him.
i had to do this.
i wanted to kill him.
i started to cry.
i turned to him.

i don't like it, he said.
i waited for what had happened.
it was almost thirty years ago.
it was over thirty years ago.
that was six years ago.
he had died two years ago.
ten, thirty years ago.
"it’s all right here.
"everything is all right here.
"it’s all right here.
it’s all right here.
we are all right here.
come here in five minutes.

i'm fine.
you're right.
"all right.
you're right.
okay, fine.
"okay, fine.
yes, right here.
no, not right now.
"no, not right now.
"talk to me right now.
please talk to me right now.
i’ll talk to you right now.
"i’ll talk to you right now.
"you need to talk to me now.
"but you need to talk to me now.

On one hand, it's impressive how legitimately dramatic some of this stuff sounds. On the other hand, it's clear that romance authors will still find gainful employment for years to come.

Google's DeepMind has mastered the game of "Go"