Recently, I was a beta user for Unblocked.ai, a writing aid that uses the CPT3 open AI interface to write fiction based on a sample you feed it. In other words, it writes the next paragraph for you. Sort of. Read on.
Not knowing what to expect, I first tried using the tool to write a complete short story on its own. Mega failure. The text meandered around randomly–the AI did not understand plot. Writers are in no danger of being replaced by AI.
But in all fairness, that’s not it’s advertised use. I was in the early stages of writing of Vishnar’s Revenge at the time, and I felt rather insecure in writing romantic relationship scenes, so I used the AI to help find my way through.
What worked best was to get three or four possible continuations of a scene from the AI. Then I picked the one that fit the plot and characters the best and edited in the specifics my book called for. For example, the AI might say “Captain Zernox interrupted with a message from the White Mages,” and I might edit it to “Zephyr interrupted with a message from Hoargrim.”
I will say that the AI has the appearance of a good general knowledge of common fiction tropes and general knowledge. For example, it pleasantly surprised me when it returned a cogent explanation of dark matter.
But frequently it supplied certain tropes that I avoid, like magically sensing and controlling things by thoughts or telepathic contact. I wish I could give it some world-building facts so it didn’t include everything from however many millions of books it trained on.
That said, there are plans to have the AI be more genre-specific, which might keep some elements of fantasy out of my science fiction.
So get ready. A new type of tool is coming to the writing toolbox. We can add AI-written paragraphs to grammar and spell checkers.
But if you hate the auto-complete function in your email, which “predicts” what you will say based on probabilities in a few million emails, this AI might not be for you.
That said, unblocked.ai delivered on its promise of getting this writer unblocked several times and I will be sure to subscribe when it comes out of beta. This website is still in closed beta, but one way or another, I expect this genre of software to be in common use soon.
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