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.”