Botnik Studios has a Harry Potter story generated by a computer informed by AI (Artificial Intelligence). The Digital Reader brings the link. He points out that there was an earlier AI-generated Potter fan-pic, so if you get through the Botnik 4-pager and still want more, you’ll know where to go. The Guardian also has a story about it. They say it’s “gloriously bonkers” — for me maybe just bonkers would do. For the addicted, The Guardian points us to yet another attempt, this one from Wired. Of course we are aware that lots of newspaper and magazine items are already being generated by computers. Writers of the world unite.

Here’s a more dyspeptic take on Botnik’s system from Quartzy. They display a few results of their playing around with Botnik’s predictive keyboard. This may not yet be forcing itself on the attentions of the Nobel Prize committee, but we are all attuned to the truism that computer systems improve at dizzying speed, so keep a look out. When we’ve gotten rid of book printers, bookstores, and publishing companies, we’ll be poised to get rid of authors too. And of course we’ve already developed machine readers to a level where we can confidently look forward to a time when one set of computers will read the literary output of another bunch of computers, thus freeing us long-suffering humans from the burden of actually doing all this unproductive reading and writing ourselves.

So who wrote this stuff? We’ve already had an AE, so what about the author called AI? The question of who might own the copyright in a work created by AI* is examined here at The 1709 Blog. Naturally the situation is complicated by different laws around the world, but the author concludes that “a broader reading of legislative texts – including at the international, regional and national levels – suggests that the notion of authorship for the sake of copyright protection is generally reserved to human beings.” I think we can pretty much assume that legislation is going to visit this topic: tech companies are going to want to reap all and any benefits they can from their software exploits.

____________

* I recently responded to a survey from a grad student at (I think Loughborough University) investigating people’s attitudes to the authorship of a piece of AI-generated copy. Although she asked for other participants I’m sorry to say I cannot find any trace of my interaction and thus encourage you to participate.