Robots That Write Fiction? (‘The Guardian’)


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“In July 2015, the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College announced a ‘Turing test in creativity,’ the first short story prize for algorithms,” writes The Guardian. “Just as science fiction is always and inevitably a critique of the contemporary, so the question of machine intelligence and literature is also a question of human intelligence and literature.”

Read the full story, published 8/10/15 by The Guardian.

The Neukom Institute’s contest has caught the attention of a number of other media outlets in recent days, including The Chronicle of Higher Education and New Hampshire Public Radio.

NHPR speaks with Neukom Institute Director Daniel Rockmore about robots and their creative output, and also about the contest.

“Rockmore and some of his colleagues have established three competitions that will test programmers’ ability to distill the human essence in computer code,” says NHPR. “The result should be more than regurgitated syntax or strung-together hits; it should capture what human beings bring to prose, poetry and music. But Rockmore is not looking for a program that can write a sonnet worthy of Shakespeare or a story that could have been written by Alice Walker.”

“I’m hoping a machine can generate an average short story,” says Rockmore, a professor of mathematics and the William H. Neukom 1964 Distinguished Professor of Computational Science.

Listen to the full story, broadcast 8/7/15 by NHPR.

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