A future where the AI man can deliver a bedtime story

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Those who made their mark in any form of the arts used to console themselves with the notion that – while they might not make tons of money from it – the world would always need artists, because all of the advances in technology and Artificial Intelligence could never replicate the creative gene.

Well, folks, here comes the rug right out from under you.

Because the soulless spoilsports with brains to burn have come up with an algorithm that can replicate a writing style of the past to produce copycat stories for the future.

They used to call it plagiarism – ripping off someone else’s stuff rather than creating your own – but if they’ve mastered it for literature, then all of the other arts forms are sure to follow.

After all the music industry has always been a cycle whereby the latest things are really only replicating the sounds of an earlier era.

The critics have long suggested that most pop music is formulaic, that there’s been nothing new since the Beatles; others might go further back and reference Beethoven.

The same three chords can be varied to get you through your entire musical career if you’re clever enough – although now you just have to programme them into some computer and it might do the work for you.

That said, given the high-profile copyright cases to make their way before the courts, you’d do well to disguise it.

Think of George Harrison’s difficulties when his My Sweet Lord was so similar to the Chiffon’s He’s So Fine, that a court called it ‘subconscious plagiarism’.

Or more recently when the family of Marvin Gaye took Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to court, claiming that Blurred Lines contained more than a smidgeon of Got to Give It Up. That cost the duo over $5 million and fifty per cent of future earnings from the song.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.