Yesterday, an article on comic books and AI/artificial intelligence exploded on Bleeding Cool. But that was rather focused on how Artificial Intelligence was affecting artwork generation. But how about writing?
Larry Young, publisher of AIT/Planet Lar, author of Astronauts In Trouble and current head contributor to Dork Court, gave an artificial intelligence writing program the first two paragraphs from his novel/graphic novel, Live from the Moon , a procedural thriller set during the early days of space exploration, "to see what it would do, and just look at this trash. It's cliché-ridden placeholding nonsense without an ounce of charm or soul or the deft touch of a confident driver behind the wheel of a fast car doing his bidding, which is all fiction writing is. Point the ski tips down the hill and just go, right?" He posts to Facebook;
"Except the AI knows what skis are and what a hill is and to look out for trees as gravity takes hold… but you can never convey to an AI what the wind feels like in your hair or why you're on the slope or what the rush of adrenaline feels like as you almost fall over and wonder, just for the briefest second, how surprised that hungry peasant was who thought, dang, I'm so hungry eating this sea cockroach seems like a good idea and then he discovered the eighty dollar lobster dinner. Right? Computers can learn the words and they can fake the feelings but they will always be Japanese Scarlet Johansson robots. Look at this nonsense; so rights-retaining direct-to-video busywork. Artists and writers will never have to worry about this for the next fifty years at least. They're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist."
"I always say anybody who thinks they can teach you writing is a liar, and that goes double for somebody trying to code up some creativity. It's a blind man in a crayon plant. I guess you can teach him what to do, but he doesn't know the difference between goldenrod and English vermillion. What a waste of time."
So this was Larry Young's beginning two paragraphs (also put into artificial intelligence art program Midjourney for this image)
"Call me Ishmael; everybody else does. And then call me back," crackled the answering machine over the tinny speakers of the suit radio's headset. When the eco-terrorist pointed the gun in his face, Dave Archer realized that it probably wasn't a good time to be checking his messages.
And this is what followed from artificial intelligence. With crystal dragons and all.
A loud pop sounded from behind him as the shotgun was fired, but he didn't dare look back until he heard a small thump which might have been the sound of something hitting the floor and breaking. He couldn't see what had happened because the man with the gun blocked the view completely. Dave knew that the man would probably be aiming at him again any second now, so he quickly turned around to look for anything he could use against him. The only thing in reach was the handle of the suit radio microphone, so he grabbed it. The man kept pointing the shotgun at Dave while talking into the mic.
"I know you're listening to this right now, you f-cking asshole!" said the man. "You think I'm bluffing? Listen carefully: if I don't get my hands on that crystal dragon before dawn tomorrow morning, there'll be no one left alive in this city except for a few poor saps who happen to be down here tonight."
The man began firing again, but the bullets passed through Dave's chest without hurting him. It seemed like the man was running out of ammo. "I've got some friends coming in the next day or two, you hear? Some real bad bitches. They're gonna burn this place down to the ground. So remember my words, f-cker! If I don't get that crystal dragon by tomorrow night, the whole world will end. And all you guys up in Washington are gonna be sitting pretty while we die trying to stop a bunch of jerks from stealing our treasure."
The man pulled the trigger of the shotgun several more times. Again, nothing happened. He sighed.
"No point in wasting that last shell; it's empty. Well, I'm done playing games. I should probably just shoot you now, since I can't seem to do much damage anyway. But maybe I'll try your other option first — kill you and take the dragon and run. What do you think, asshole?" He fired again, but again, nothing happened.
"Ha! This gun isn't working! It must be full of water! F-cking morons!"
With a quick motion, the man unsheathed a sword. "See ya later, buddy. Maybe you'll make a good firestarter." The man advanced on Dave, swinging his blade wildly. Then suddenly, he stopped dead in his tracks.
Dave looked up to see a large group of people surrounding the man, blocking off his escape route. They were dressed in black uniforms, each carrying a rifle. One of them shouted "Freeze!" The man hesitated for a moment, uncertain of what to do. Then he raised his weapon and pointed it at the crowd.
"Don't move, or I shoot!" he said threateningly.
One of the men aimed his rifle at the man's head and fired. The bullet hit the man in the shoulder, knocking him backward.
"Get 'im!" shouted someone.
Other members of the crowd quickly moved in, pushing and shoving the man toward the edge of the building. More shots were fired, and the man fell onto the roof of a nearby building. "Come on, let's go!" shouted another member of the group.
Galena and her crystal dragon were nowhere to be found. The man who had been shot by the gunman was lying unconscious on the rooftop of the building.
The man in black clothes yelled, "Clear the area! Clear the way!" Several of the crowd rushed forward, including your eco-terrorist.
"That bastard stole the crystal dragon from us!"
That's what every NASA procedural thriller needs, crystal dragons. And didn't it get sweary fast? Naughty artificial intelligence. The edits were Bleeding Cool's…