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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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This Article Was Written By A Human Being

October 30, 2012, 6:32 PM
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Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Philip Parker, a professor at INSEAD Business School in France, has created software that automatically generates books through a process involving the compilation of existing information. Over 100,000 titles are available on Amazon UK, many of which are highly technical and cater to very specific audiences. Now he has built a prototype of a software program that will create automated fiction -- specifically, romance novels. To test it, he started by having it create poems, one of which was then presented to readers alongside a sonnet by Shakespeare. The majority of readers preferred the auto-generated poem.

What's the Big Idea?

Software packages already exist that will help a writer put together a novel, but, as one company site states, "No novel writing package will write your novel for you." Parker hopes to disprove that with his software: "The more a genre subscribes to a formula, the more straightforward it is...If you feed [romance novel template instructions] into a computer, the formula is followed." His isn't the only initiative designed to reduce or eliminate the need for human writers: A startup, Narrative Science, has 30 clients, including Forbes' Web site, for which its software collates data and creates "rich narrative content."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

 

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