Remember that point Google confirmed off its synthetic intelligence prowess by demoing conversations with Pluto and a paper airplane? That was powered by LaMDA, one in all Google’s latest-generation conversational AI fashions. Now, Google’s utilizing LaMDA to construct Wordcraft, a prototype writing tool that may assist inventive writers craft new tales.
AI-powered writing instruments aren’t new. Chances are you’ve heard of Grammarly or copywriting instruments like Jasper. What makes Wordcraft a bit totally different is that it’s framed as a method to assist create fictional work. Google describes it as a type of “text editor with purpose” constructed right into a web-based phrase processor. Users can immediate Wordcraft to rewrite phrases or direct it to make a sentence funnier. It also can describe objects if requested or generate prompts. In a nutshell, it’s type of like wrapping an editor and writing companion right into a single AI tool.
To check Wordcraft, Google created a workshop with 13 skilled writers to see how nicely the prototype labored. While the writers appeared to understand Wordcraft as a technique to spark new concepts, they unanimously agreed the tool wasn’t going to exchange authors anytime quickly. For starters, the tool wasn’t nice at sticking to a story model and produced common or cliched writing. It additionally caught to tried-and-true tropes whereas additionally steering away from “mean” characters.
“One clear finding was that using LaMDA to write full stories is a dead end. It’s a much more effective tool when it’s used to add spice,” Douglas Eck, senior analysis director at Google Research, stated at the AI@ occasion.
Obviously, any prototype has kinks to work out. It’s additionally exhausting to completely grasp what utilizing an AI-powered inventive writing tool is like. So I used to be curious to see a demo of it firsthand at Google’s AI@ occasion.
I began by giving Wordcraft the immediate “penguins swimming.” It then generated a couple of totally different story concepts, and since I really like child animals, I went with a mom penguin sitting on her eggs. From there, I might inform Wordcraft to both proceed the story, add one other immediate, or speak to a chatbot for extra concepts. I opted to focus on the “eggs” and have Wordcraft supply extra description.
The outcomes have been all kinds of surreal — one described the eggs as having a leathery texture, however I went with the possibility the place they have been the measurement of grapefruits and lined in downy feathers. (Never thoughts the indisputable fact that eggs lined in feathers aren’t actually a factor.) I gained’t go into each immediate I attempted out, however I did at one level have Wordcraft shorten a prolonged continuation right into a single sentence, in addition to had the chatbot generate some battle (therefore, the seal consuming mama penguin’s infants).
As you can see from the ultimate product, the writing is pretty fundamental. There are additionally numerous issues that contradict — the child eggs are eaten, however then a child is floating in the ocean and rescued? Despite the indisputable fact that they by no means really hatched? Sure! Another quirk was I needed to manually copy and paste no matter the chatbot recommended into the fundamental window. Every different immediate can simply be clicked and routinely added.
Ultimately, it’s as Eck stated. After the demo, I couldn’t actually image writing a full story this manner, nevertheless it was a neat technique to generate concepts. The ultimate product wouldn’t ever work by itself — I’d be too embarrassed to even put it on AO3 as a March of the Penguins fanfic. But I might take the total thought — a mama penguin combating off a seal to save lots of her eggs — and rewrite the textual content right into a extra fulfilling, much less robotic story.
Wordcraft is clearly nonetheless in the experimental stage. That stated, the prototype was enjoyable to make use of, even when I used to be largely attempting to see how absurd I might get with a single immediate. If you’re curious, you can take a look at 9 tales that got here out of the Wordcraft Writers’ Workshop here. They’re fairly wild.