Tuesday, February 20, 2007

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Amazingly, some researchers in Mexico created a program to write fiction without much input from a user. This is a huge step for computer programming, as sometime in the future an almost completely autonomous program may be in existence that can write fiction as well as some authors can. It's amazing when you think about it: the entire fiction writing process has been reduced to a series of values attaching emotion to the fictional characters. This is big, and worth some consideration. Once a program capable of understanding human language instead of a programming language is created, will it be possible for it to create the first digital saga? The problem now is that programmers have not been able to determine a way to let a computer "read" human language and interpret it as instructions. Early games show a primitive form of recognition, with such commands as "get flask" and "look" interpreted as game commands. But if we can figure out a way for a computer to understand human speech, then almost anything is possible. "Get flask" can become a spoken "open a Word document" which is interpreted through speech recognizers and understood by the computer. To be honest, I'm considering trying to write an English recognition program, which uses standard grammar rules to determine form and structure, and databases to sort out meaning, including word associations. I don't know enough about artificial intelligence programming to have a smoothly running program, but I think I'd enjoy it anyway.

1 comment:

Glance_jc said...

Chris,

Thanks for including the link to the site discussing MEXICA. Very interesting program!

I don't think MEXICA is duplicating the entire writing process, though; it merely is generating plots (and fairly simple ones, given the example). A folklorist named Vladimir Propp wrote The Morphology of the Folktale in 1928, and in it he reduced folktales to their essential plot elements and created a flowchart for each story. If you pursue your writing project, you probably ought to look it up.