Right now you’re using a computer to read this post. What if we could use one to write it? (I’d be out of a job, for one.)
I’ve just come across a new experiment at Carnegie Mellon University. The goal of this experiment is to try to create an automated system for producing quality journalism. They plan to write a program that will interface with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, integrate the work done by 5 or more Turks (people), and then create a passable article.
This is interesting because while a program can’t create from scratch (not yet, at least), it can dynamically integrate the work of several people into a whole. If you divide the writing of an article into small enough tasks, you might be able to eliminate the need for a skilled journalist by replacing them with a bunch of unskilled workers hired through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
I’m sure I know the thought crossing your mind right now. I wonder if any vampire romance novels were written by this software? That would make a lot of sense, wouldn’t it? Well, they flatly denied it, but I have my doubts.
Joking aside, I think programs like this may already be already in use: spambots. Some of them are surprisingly good at pretending to be a human being. Also, should this experiment pan out I bet spammers will be the first to make use of the software.