Today is a big day as – for the first time in human history – a short story has been published that was written by a robot together with a human. And the bot (called AsiBot, because it writes in the style of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot) was developed in Dutch (!) in Amsterdam (at Meertens Institute) and in Antwerp (at the Antwerp Centre for Digital Humanities and Literary Criticim), Simon’s two home cities.
The story written by the AsiBot and Dutch bestselling author Ronald Giphart forms a new, 10th chapter in Isaac Asimov’s classic I, Robot (that originally contained only 9 chapters). The AsiBot was fed 10 thousand books in Dutch to master the literary language and can already produce a couple of paragraphs on its own, but a longer coherent story remains out of fetch. This is where a human writer, Ronald Giphart stepped in. It was he who decided which of the sentences written by AsiBot stayed and which should be thrown out. The reader doesn’t know which sentences are written (or edited) by the human writer and which are pure robot literature. Starting from November 6 anyone (speaking Dutch) can try writing with AsiBot on www.asibot.nl.
Simon was very excited about this news and recorded a short video where he explains how such “synthetic literature”neural nets work (based on what he learned from Siraj Raval’s awesome YouTube classes):
My phone froze so we had to make the second part as a separate video: