Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis


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Novelists Against AI

17 authors are suing OpenAI for copyright infringement

17 prominent authors including George R.R. Martin and John Grisham are suing OpenAI, the company responsible for ChatGPT, for copyright infringement and “theft,” according to the Associated Press (AP). The authors are among many in the creative field who are expressing concern over the ethics of AI use. A spokesperson for the Authors Guild said that it’s imperative to stop AI’s theft to preserve America’s “incredible literary culture,” according to the AP. Hillel Italie reports, The lawsuit cites specific ChatGPT searches for each author, such as one for Martin that alleges the program generated “an infringing, unauthorized, and detailed outline for a prequel” to “A Game of Thrones” that was titled “A Dawn of Direwolves” and used “the same characters Read More ›

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Is Mathematics an Illusion? Lawrence Krauss and Cormac McCarthy Discuss

McCarthy asked, "Would mathematics be here if we weren't?"

In December, physicist and author Lawrence Krauss interviewed the late American novelist Cormac McCarthy, who died on June 13th at the age of 89 in Santa Fe, N.M. McCarthy is famous for his remarkable fictional works like The Road and Blood Meridian, but he was also deeply fascinated with mathematics and science. Apparently, he enjoyed reading science more than he did fiction! He moved to Santa Fe from El Paso to be closer to the Santa Fe Institute, a science think tank where McCarthy would spend time speaking with various physicists, scientists, and mathematicians. His latest two novels, The Passenger and Stella Maris, are about a brother and sister who are both brilliant mathematicians. Towards the beginning of the interview, Read More ›

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Make Literature Human Again

Should the AI novel be embraced or avoided?

I’ve been writing avidly since the first grade. Thumbing through a children’s nature magazine in the classroom one day, I discovered a crisp image of a red fox standing in the snow. I’d seen pictures of foxes before, but something stood out to me about this one to the point that I felt like I needed to write about it. If you’re looking for advice on owning foxes as pets, see my manual on the topic. (Full disclosure: my first-grade self was absolutely convinced having a fox for a pet is out of the question.) Years later, that fundamental impulse hasn’t left. Writing stories, novels, essays, news reports, and poetry has always been a fundamental way to try to do Read More ›

3D rendering of abstract blocks of mathematical formulas located in the virtual space

Math, Mind, and Matter

The surprising similarities between mathematics and literature

Last October, legendary American author Cormac McCarthy, who wrote Blood Meridian and The Road, released a pair of interconnected novels called The Passenger and Stella Maris. The books arrived after a sixteen-year silence from the desk of McCarthy. The books deal, per usual, with themes of mortality, fate, and the “God question,” and are predictably lyrical, vivid, and dark. But McCarthy plows new ground in these sibling novels. The books are about mathematicians. It’s fiction about math.  The story revolves around the complex relationship between a brother and sister: Bobby and Alicia Western. Bobby is a deep-sea diver with some history in the field of mathematics, while Alicia is a once-in-a-generation math prodigy.  Not Estranged, but Akin After reading these books myself, I marveled at McCarthy’s ability to Read More ›

The robot writes with a pen and looks at the computer monitor. Artificial Intelligence

Bingecast: Selmer Bringsjord on the Lovelace Test

The Turing test, developed by Alan Turing in 1950, is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour indistinguishable from a human. Many think that Turing’s proposal for intelligence, especially creativity, has been proven inadequate. Is the Lovelace test a better alternative? What are the capabilities and limitations of AI? Robert J. Marks and Dr. Selmer Bringsjord discuss Read More ›


Will AI Ever Write a Critically Acclaimed Novel?

AI is starting to write and some of the copy reads quite well. Other writing is garbage. What’s the capability and limitation of writing by AI? Will AI ever write a novel that wins the Nobel Prize for Literature? Robert J. Marks and Dr. Selmer Bringsjord discuss creativity, artificial intelligence, and writing. Show Notes 00:37 | Introducing Selmer Bringsjord, Professor Read More ›

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2: AI Can Write Novels and Screenplays Better than the Pros!

AI help, not hype: Software can automatically generate word sequences based on material fed in from existing scripts. But with what result?

“AI rites reel gud!” Seriously, the idea is not new. Back in the 1940s, George Orwell (1903–1950) thought that a machine could write popular novels so long as no creative thinking was involved. Thus, in his 1984 police state world, one of the central characters has a job minding a machine that mass produces them. In the 1960s, some film experiments were done along these lines, using Westerns (cowboy stories). At the time, there were masses of formula-based film material to work with in this popular genre. But what does the product look and sound like? In 2016, Ars Technica was proud to sponsor “the first AI-written sci-fi script:” As explained in The Guardian, a recurrent neural network “was fed the Read More ›


Could AI write novels?

George Orwell thought so, as long as no thinking was involved
Serious literature will always be written, to borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, in “blood, toil, tears and sweat” because imaging the human condition accurately is part of its nature. And if the writer lives in an unfree society, serious literature will also be written in fear. Read More ›