Calliope Writing

Will Robots Be Better at Writing Literature Than Humans?
July 11, 2015, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Literature, News | Tags: , , , , ,

Update July 30, 2015

According to BuzzFeed, the robots will never successfully take over the world. Their supporting evidence? This:

I gotta be honest…I’m feeling a little bit better about the robot-caused dystopia I had figured out in my head.

Original Post

Of course they will. Because robots can do everything. And then they’ll take over the world.

Haven’t you seen one of the many movies or television shows or (God forbid) read a book about exactly this? If not, get on it and deal with the facts.

Robots want to destroy the world.

I kid, I kid. Now let’s try to be serious for a moment.

Dartmouth is in the beginning stages of an experiment with the hopes of discovering if robots can create pieces of literature, music, and/or art that are indiscernible from those created by a human being.

Let that sink in for a second.

Brace yourself. And they want to discover if individuals will actually prefer robot-made creative works to their man-made counterparts.

So, this week’s blog post question is:

robot skeleton

literature and glasses

banjo with soul

humor photo praying mantis

My heart tells me the answer is an emphatic “no.” No, robots cannot do any of these things because they’re made of metal and screws and bolts and circuit boards and other things I don’t know the terminology for.* They don’t have the stuff that makes humanity what it is.

So if computers, androids, robots, what have you – if they do create breathtaking art, in whatever form, that leads to a series of other, more serious (and existential) questions, including:

  • Can artificial intelligence possess all that makes an individual human?
  • Is humanity the equivalent of a soul?
  • Does this mean androids can have souls?

Holy cow. That’s a little deeper than I’m willing to go without a couple of drinks, a dimly lit room, and some heavy music playing in the background.

So let’s stay away from the above questions and focus on the one at hand:

Can a robot create literature with passion, music with soul, and art with humor? Sound off below.

*Yes, I know I ended this sentence with a preposition. But come on. Sometimes it sounds super pretentious to restructure the sentence, and this was one of those times.

3 Comments so far
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I thought James Patterson already proved this….or maybe he only proved that writing can be done (very successfully) in an assembly line. Robots should follow soon.


Comment by David Seaburn



Comment by Katrina Robinson

What Dartmouth is actually doing is seeing if its students can program art. It’s an interesting idea at that remove. Because the real question is whether we are smart enough to teach a machine to do what so few of us can, that is, create art. So it’s all about the people after all.

Liked by 1 person

Comment by bhalsop

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