My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why Scheherazade AI from Georgia Institute of Technology will replace Writers and Journalists

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Why Scheherazade AI from Georgia Institute of Technology will replace Writers and Journalists

This latest developement in Artificial Intelligence is yet more proof that our jobs as writers are on the line. So clearly it's not just waiters and chefs whose jobs may be replaced by AI controlled robots as reported in my blog article entitled “US$15,000 Moley Robotics Cooking Robot – Cooking Robot seeking Taste for Human Food to take over in 2017”.

Folks play the song Mortal Combat as this looks like a throwdown-showdown of Man vs Machine. Fight!


Turns out its perfectly possible for a computer program called Scheherazade, can be designed to write Choose-your-own-adventure stories as reported in the article “New Artificial intelligence writes choose-your-own-adventure games”, published 14 September 2015 by Michelle Starr, CNET News.


Developed by Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheherazade, in a way reminds me of the Eugene Goostman chatbot developed by Russian Researcher Vladimir Vesolov and Ukranian Eugene Demchenko from Princeton University as explained in my blog article entitled “Russian and Ukranian Research Team beat Turing Test - How to spot a chatbot online as Eugene Goostman win suggests Turing Test for Natural Language”. 

Scheherazade, named after the Arabic queen and the storyteller heroine of 1001 Arabian Nights, was also put to a Turing Test in which it (or she?) was fed crowdsourced stories. Her aim was to produce a series of alternate adventure pathways from two (2) story scenarios, a bank robbery and a movie date for a choose-your-own-adventure games and stories that were so good that they'd be able to fool a human into thinking they were written by humans.

So how was this Turing Test conducted?

Scheherazade AI from Georgia Institute of Technology - Why Writers and Journalists will be replaced by Artificial Intelligence and Robots

To make the Blind Turing Test Fair, human programmed generators were also given the crowdsourced story components along with a random generator that basically stitched the stories together based on context clues. Scheherazade, being a low-level Artificial Intelligent program, can do the same, but in a manner that mimics human original thought.

Based on the results of the test, which involved the stories from the Scheherazade AI, the human programmed generator and the random generator being read by three (3) separate reading groups who weren’t told where the stories came from, she passed with flying colours.

For the bank robbery story, the results were very close in terms of i.e. crowdsourced story components that didn't match:

1.      3 errors for Scheherazade and the human programmed generator
2.      12.5 errors for the random Generator

In the case of the movie date story, the error rate was also very close between Scheherazade and the human programmed generator:

1.      3 errors for the human programmed generator
2.      5 errors for the Scheherazade
3.      15 errors for the random Generator

If the researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology can improve upon their AI which has for all intents and purposes, passed the Turing Test, then we may be looking at a very interesting way to publish a series of Choose-your-own-adventure stories not only for books but also video games and even Television Scripts.

Resurrecting Queen Scheherazade as an AI might also spur the resurrection of other famous intellectual and historical figures. Isaac Newton to teach children physics and act as a physics simulator? Einstein to re-tackle the problems of gravity in developing a GUFT (Grand Unified Field Theory)? Picasso AI to create even more masterpieces that the artiste would have painted had he been alive?

More practically, Scheherazade could potentially replace the Jobs of journalists and Writers collating stories for a newscast, possibly even with the power of IBM Watson replace Journalists and Writers altogether in the future.  After all, our music streaming service like Spotify use algorithms to chose the music in your streams based on you song selection.

So a similar idea for writers and journalists doesn’t seem too far-fetched and may be in the offing. Like I said at the beginning, AI will make writers obsolete. This already has me excited and worried.

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