AI-assisted book writing is here

Josh Dzieza, writing for The Verge:

“You are already an AI-assisted author,” Joanna Penn tells her students on the first day of her workshop. Do you use Amazon to shop? Do you use Google for research? “The question now is how can you be more AI-assisted, AI-enhanced, AI-extended.” 

The Great Fiction of AI

And the AI-generated output is mostly usable:

Eager to see what it could do, Lepp selected a 500-word chunk of her novel, a climactic confrontation in a swamp between the detective witch and a band of pixies, and pasted it into the program. Highlighting one of the pixies, named Nutmeg, she clicked “describe.” 

“Nutmeg’s hair is red, but her bright green eyes show that she has more in common with creatures of the night than with day,” the program returned. 

But there are downsides:

There were weirder misfires, too. Like when it kept saying the Greek god Apollo’s “eyes were as big as a gopher’s” or that “the moon was truly mother-of-pearl, the white of the sea, rubbed smooth by the groins of drowned brides.”

And probably some long-term issues when the author is paying less attention:

“I started going to sleep, and I wasn’t thinking about the story anymore. And then I went back to write and sat down, and I would forget why people were doing things. Or I’d have to look up what somebody said because I lost the thread of truth,” she said. 

But these programs are here to stay, and will only get better.