The AI Author Project: A Biography on Me

Source: Flickr

Since becoming a writer for Sanvada, new doors and connections have opened for me that I had not experienced before; one such connection offered me an opportunity to participate in a project involving Artificial Intelligence authors.  While AI continues to break barriers in areas that were first conceived in Science Fiction movies and novels, there are still areas that experimentation is taking place but may be too early to achieve success; becoming successful authors of Biographies is one of them.  Join me as I share my experience in The AI Author Project: A Biography on Me.

Source: Wired

What is The AI Author Project?

Starting at the beginning, I was contacted through an email on November 13th saying that a representative from Artillect Publishing was notifying me that a book written about me was available for sale on Amazon.com and wanted to know if I could help them with their project.  Apparently, Artillect Publishing uses AI authors to write biographies not only about famous individuals but your average persons as well; imagine my surprise when I discovered this included myself!  The representative further explained: “We employ AI authors to write bibliographical books not just about celebs but regular folks as well. We’ve recently started and are training our robot-authors to ‘write’ better books by enhancing them with the feedback from our users.” 

The reason I was contacted was for my passion on the latest news regarding tech and since I am a tech writer, the publishing company would gladly send the book to me for free and asked if after reading it, could I write about their project as well as my opinion about it; naturally, I could not refuse.  There website shows many books written by these robot-authors and it may come as a surprise to someone to visit the website in which to find a book written about themselves. 

Can an AI Author Succeed in Writing a Biography?

The question of whether or not an AI author can successfully write a Biography about another person is tricky as it depends on one’s interpretation of its’ meaning.  Dictionary.com states several meanings of this term, which includes a written account of another person’s life: the biography of Byron by Marchand.  Since my background includes roughly ten years of experience as a Middle School English teacher, I have seen a multitude of examples and know what to expect from a true Biography; however, the AI author’s attempt is not what I would say is a “traditional” one.

Source: Artillect Publishing

While the book about me does state interesting and factual data regarding certain aspects of my life, such as where I went to college, where I currently live, mu background as a freelance writer and that I currently write for Sanvada.com; the information provided was mostly analytical.  Nothing was mentioned about my past and current battles regarding health issues, other educational institutions that I attended, my experiences in Education that included three years as a permanent substitute teacher and roughly ten years as a Middle School English teacher and so forth.  Most of the information stated was general information and statistics while lacking any feelings or empathy; think of it as being told by Mr. Spock from Star Trek.

What Can be Learned from the AI Author Project

The representative from Artillect Publishing explained to me that since Artificial Intelligence is being used to perform tasks previously thought of as only a human could accomplish, this, and other factors, led to the idea that robots could be used to write patterned books; this led to trying this premise on writing Biographies.  However, writer Will To wrote in his article, “What a World of AI Robot Writers Will Look Like” that for a AI writer to be effective, its’ piece must pass what he refers to as the Turning test, in which a computer must trick humans into thinking that it too, is human.  While the AI author’s attempt was a good one, it still needs work on being able to pass the “Turning test.”

Source: Flickr

Nevertheless, there are several factors that needs to be mentioned that the representative did warn me about that explains the lack of certain information that would have enhanced the AI author’s attempt.  One factor has to do with copyrights strict usage of information that limits data to be scanned and search through millions of individuals IDs and profiles.  The other factors mentioned were issues trying to distinguish unverified content (humiliating and false) from something that is factual, and the AI authors mistakenly may state information about person A when it is data from person B.

Overall, Artificial Intelligence will continue to grow and adapt into succeeding in areas that were previously thought of as being unattainable.  Although some may feel that AI authors could never replace humans, that day may come, and it will be sooner than many would expect.  The AI Author Project: A Biography on Me, is proof that businesses, like Artillect Publishing, are making great strides in AI authors and time will tell if they will be the authors of the future.