I wrote a book with AI

Original article was published by Chris Frantz on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


And it did a great job.

This is how “I wrote it”.

Writing a book with AI

First up, finding some inspiration. GPT-3 is an impressive model, but it still works best with a bit of training data. So I went scouring the internet for 2 minutes, pulling together a few of Dr. Seuss’s most famous published work.

A dash of Green Eggs and Ham with a touch of Oh, The Places You’ll Go! and I was ready with my training data.

But, before I started, I wanted to generate a title. So I fed in a list of existing Dr. Seuss titles as training data:

-Green Eggs and Ham
-Horton Hears a Who
-The Cat in the Hat
-The Lorax
-Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
-One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
-Scrambled Eggs Super!
-The Sneetches
-Yertle the Turtle
-One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Then I generated a handful of books he wish he had written:

-The Bippolo Seed
-The Big Brag
-The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
-Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book
-The Foot Book
-The Great Henry McBride
-The Hoober-Bloob Highway
-Horton Hatches the Egg
-I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories
-My Book about ME
-The Shape of Me and Other Stuff
-Stick Out Your Tongue
-The Thidwick Books
-The Happy Printer

And we have our winner! As much as I wanted to go with “I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories”, I saw a winner at the bottom. And so, we had a title.

“The Happy Printer”

Now we need to put something between the covers. Time to start writing.

I dug up the text I had saved from the published Dr. Seuss books and fed it into GPT-3, along with the title for our new children’s book.

In one go, out popped the full text for The Happy Printer.

On a quiet, sunny day,
A printer was looking at some new type.
His shop was small, but neat and tight.
Right outside his window was a large sign.
And it said: MANY THINGS COME FROM THIS PLACE —
SADNESS AND GLOOM FROM MANY OTHER PLACES.
But from this place come the things that make you smile.
So if you’re passing by my little shop,
Remember — here are the things that make you smile.
Take one. Take two. Take one for a friend.
Then this printer did what he had to do.
He took a little bit of the type from his shop
And soon he had printed the words:
“Have a happy day!”

I liked it right off the bat, so I ran with it and the rest is history.

Just kidding, I had to have it read by an AI as well.

Turns out, it’s easy and free to use a convincing AI voice for your story. Just head over to AWS Polly, log in with your AWS account, and paste in the story. Choose a “neural” voice, I went with Kevin, and hit download.

I downloaded the completed mp3 and mocked up an audio visualization along with some graphics in Final Cut and then I was done.

So what are the implications here?

Well, for one, this was relatively easy to do and you could create a service that automates this in a few days.

That basically means you can build a book publishing company have thousands of titles in a few weeks with a bit of manual editorial.

Then if you really want, why not just have them all read by AWS Polly or the equally convincing Replicant Studio?

We’re at a watershed moment with AI. It’s accessible and the results are finally passable. This means that we now have the ability to generate creativity at scale which is something that has never before been possible.

And you thought 2020 couldn’t get more weird.