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How to Create Artificially Written Stories With Apple’s Siri

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Glenn Stok likes to investigate and explore exceptional and noteworthy activities, and he writes about it so you can experience it too.

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This article is based on my experiment to create written content with artificial intelligence. The resulting example snippets are mostly humorous, but it’s an excellent example of what AI can accomplish with story creation.

I also go into further depth of how automated creation of content with AI is changing the concept of news stories. So, let’s begin.

If you use an iPhone or iPad, you probably already know about Siri, Apple’s app that understands speech commands and verbal questions to help you search the web.

How to Let Siri Create Content

You might have also noticed that Siri guesses the next word you need while you’re typing. The purpose is to help speed your typing by tapping on the word you want from the list of suggestions shown above the virtual keyboard.

Frequently, one of those words will be the one you want, but what if you allow Siri more prerogative of where your content is headed? That’s the fun part—letting Siri create written content artificially.

It’s not entirely automated since you are still in control—selecting the next word. But by using the words Siri suggests, you are letting Siri compose the content to some degree. I’ll explain how I did it.

I just started with a few words, such as “You are right” or "I don’t know" as shown below with the first two example snippets. Then I let Siri give me ideas to continue word-by-word for the rest of the story rather than writing from my own thoughts. I just selected one of Siri’s suggestions that I felt worked well in the sentence.

The results were amazing. The sentences seem to make sense and have a logical structure, but they are pointless with no specific purpose. I’ll show you some examples.

This image above is how I began the first two snippets shown below. Notice the word suggestions above the virtual keyboard. I could have selected any one of them to let Siri continue the story.

This image above is how I began the first two snippets shown below. Notice the word suggestions above the virtual keyboard. I could have selected any one of them to let Siri continue the story.

Can AI Write a Story?

Let’s examine some story snippets that I let Siri construct with this method. They all turned out to be silly. I would say that’s because there was no actual meaning behind the words. I’ll discuss that after these examples.

  • You are right to call me, and I’ll let you know about your day, and what I can see in your life that you have been taught to be in the same place, as I know I am in now.
  • I don’t know if you want to do something that would be nice to see if you can have come to the first meeting or if you want to do something different.
  • It’s just one of those things that we might have to do with the rest of our lives. When we are all willing to give it up and not be doing a useless job that could be a waste of time and money, then we’ll get to know more about the future of our lives.
  • So, you do need to get an idea for your new job, and then you’ll know how to make it work as well as the other people in your business.
  • The other people, who were suddenly capable of being able to help you create your life with your friends, would never change their way of life.
  • When you get your own business, and you have a lot of money, you need to help your mom get into a new job that I would never want.
  • You have to say that I was just wondering what your thoughts about this place are for in the future.
  • I just noticed that they are being too lazy to do the things that you are doing.
  • After the update, the game will be very interesting, but if it doesn’t work, then you’ll have to wait until the next version.

My Analysis of the Example Snippets

As I mentioned earlier, there is no real meaning behind the words. However, the flow of the sentences is remarkable. I do have to admit that I consciously added the punctuation.

One has to wonder how the algorithm works to determine the next set of words to complete each sentence. It’s almost as if Siri has a mind of her own. Well, that’s what Artificial Intelligence is all about. Isn’t it?

The resulting sentences appear valid, written as if I were writing a story. But I assure you that the snippets above were created without me having any pre-knowledge of what would end up being written. I just chose one of the suggested words and kept going—and the words developed into a story.

Can AI Replace Content Writers?

So that brings me to this question: If it’s that good with my little experiment, who’s to say that we can’t enhance the process to work entirely on its own.

What if programmers can automate the entire process, so it works without human intervention?

Artificial Intelligence is continually being used in new ways to automate in fields of science and medicine. As for writing textual content, we already have software tools that help correct grammar and spelling, such as the features in Microsoft Word. And tools such as Grammarly can even suggest better ways of saying things that improve reader comprehension.

The world is changing rapidly, and computer technology includes Machine Learning (ML) capability that allows software utilities to enhance their abilities without further programming development.

AI, along with ML, already can compile a written report that its bots do for us via the Internet, collecting vast amounts of human-written text to write reports. That is a tool that helps writers complete their research much faster than one can do on their own.

That’s great for research articles. But what about story-telling? The examples above that I made with Siri have little in the way of fully-involved stories. They lack feelings of fear, love, anger, and so on. It’s crucial to understand that writers include these human emotions in their stories. That is what makes story-telling notable with exciting content.1

But don’t underestimate the possibilities. Elon Musk is already working on OpenAI software, known as GPT-3, that can create entire songs, stories, and essays.2

The GPT-3 software works by observing which words tend to follow one another. I think that’s similar to how Siri provides suggestions while typing.

The project has its drawbacks, especially since the software has no social awareness and sometimes creates offensive content.

If social skills can’t be machine-learned, then AI may not fully replace content writers for story-telling any time soon, but it definitely helps enhance their work.

In the meantime, there is a way to create written narrative from structured data.

Natural Language Generation From Data

While completing my research on this topic, I discovered that many media organizations such as The New York Times and Washington Post already generate written content with AI. They use Natural Language Generation (NLG) software that converts data into a written narrative.3

News Organizations can produce thousands of articles in much less time than humans would write.

That is somewhat scary. Not only can it eliminate the need for news reporters, but it can also allow a single individual who has an awful agenda to produce huge amounts of particular narrative to alter people’s minds without their even knowing they were a victim of mind control.

In Conclusion

If you’re curious to experiment with the method I used with Siri, and you have an Apple iOS device, you can try it for yourself. Let’s see what you get Siri to write. Then decide if you are controlling Siri or if she is controlling you!

References

  1. Kathy Edens. (June 28, 2018). Why AI Will Never Replace Writers - Pro Writing Aid
  2. Sam Shead. (July 23, 2020), “Why everyone is talking about the A.I. text generator released by an Elon Musk-backed lab” - CNBC.com
  3. Bernard Marr. (March 29, 2019). Artificial Intelligence Can Now Write Amazing Content -- What Does That Mean For Humans? - Forbes

© 2020 Glenn Stok

Comments

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 20, 2020:

Hi John. I'm glad you tried the same experiment with Siri too. You came up with a very intriguing idea—AI that can mimic human feelings. Professors and scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been researching that idea. They call it "Emotion AI." Look it up if interested. Thanks for sharing your inspiring thoughts.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 20, 2020:

Thanks for sharing this Glenn. I have experimented with Siri a bit and come up with some crazy sentences. She apparently memorises previous things you have written as well as the most used follow up words for her suggestions. Sometimes she drives me crazy, but she can also be a help.

The possibilities of this technology though are exciting, especially if the AI can somehow be taught to incorporate “feeling” into what it writes. The scary part of that is that human writers in many fields could become redundant.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 20, 2020:

Thank you for your comment Liz. I’m sure fiction writers will continue to have their place in the creative world of writing. Fiction requires the ability to develop scenarios that only humans can envision, in my opinion. I don’t think AI can ever come close to that.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 20, 2020:

This is a fascinating experiment. Your findings are very interesting. It will be interesting to see how AI develops in this field. I think that the role of writers, especially for fiction, will be around for a while yet. At least I hope so!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 20, 2020:

Thanks for your feedback Pamela. Siri definitely has a lot of features that make Apple phones more productive.

Pamela Oglesby on November 20, 2020:

This is a fascinating topic, Glenn. There are many aspects to consider when using AI. I never thought about using Siri in this fashion, but I may try it out. Thanks for a very interesting article.