The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Stephen King: My books were used to train AI

By Stephen King

23 Aug 2023 · 2 min read

informed Summary

  1. Stephen King, in an article for The Atlantic, discusses the potential for artificial intelligence to mimic human creativity in writing. He suggests that while AI can be programmed to mimic styles and patterns, it currently lacks the ability to create genuinely creative moments.

Self-driving cars. Saucer-shaped vacuum cleaners that skitter hither and yon (only occasionally getting stuck in corners). Phones that tell you where you are and how to get to the next place. We live with all of these things, and in some cases—the smartphone is the best example—can’t live without them, or so we tell ourselves. But can a machine that reads learn to write?

I have said in one of my few forays into nonfiction (On Writing) that you can’t learn to write unless you’re a reader, and unless you read a lot. AI programmers have apparently taken this advice to heart. Because the capacity of computer memory is so large—everything I ever wrote could fit on one thumb drive, a fact that never ceases to blow my mind—these programmers can dump thousands of books into state-of-the-art digital blenders. Including, it seems, mine. The real question is whether you get a sum that’s greater than the parts, when you pour back out.

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