When machines came in to existence, it was said they are relieve the people from the daily monotonous and laborious tasks that hindered people from truly exploring their potential. However, as machine learning and artificial intelligence has emerged it seems humans are also being relieved of thought stimulating and intellectual tasks that we once took pride in.
Taking things up a notch, on the 25th of March 2017, Ross Goodwin in a black Cadillac with a white-domed surveillance camera attached to its trunk departed Brooklyn for New Orleans.
A GPS unit was fastened atop the roof with a microphone dangling from the ceiling. Wires from all three devices fed into Goodwin’s Razer Blade laptop that was hooked up to a humble receipt printer. Through this equipment, he hoped to produce the next American road trip novel.
Ross Goodwin, is a former ghostwriter for the Obama administration, and describes himself as “a writer of writers.” He generates poetry, screenplays, and literary travel fiction using neural networks. His algorithms have also transformed the Senate’s 2014 torture report into a novel.
His master’s thesis at NYU called the Narrated Reality, Goodwin loaded his backpack with devices (a compass, a punch clock, and a camera) that fed their data into long short-term memory (LSTM) neural networks as he walked around the city, churning out weird associative poetry. This time around, he decided to take it one step further where he went cross country with the hopes of producing a novel.
The narrations by Goodwin’s equipment are collected in the book 1 the Road, and is being marketed as the first book written by AI. The overall book is said to be basically about a bot’s life on the interstate; and is described as Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test meets Google Street View, narrated by Siri.