Would you read a romance written by a computer?
I was listening to a podcast last week about the potential of computers, or Artificial Intelligence, writing books, music, poetry and even painting. Apparently, computers analyze large amounts of data, determine patterns and duplicate the efforts of famous authors, artists and song-writers. The example on the podcast was of an AI version of a Beatles song – which wasn’t very good, but it was recognizable enough as the song – without the lyrics.
As an author, I was horrified at the idea of losing my profession to a computer. But even worse, as a reader, I was disgusted at the idea of a computer generated story. It felt as if that would be a violation of who I am as a person and what I like as a reader. I imagine the story to be soulless and without heat or heart!
Already, there’s a trend within our industry of authors joining our profession simply for the potential profit versus for the joy of writing. There are also teams of ghost writers chugging out content under one pseudonym (these team don’t write a new story, they simply change the details on the same story and release it as “new”). So already, the romance genre is being bastardized and, as a reader, I feel manipulated. Sometimes, one book is offered for sale with just the names and a few of the details changed. So scams are rampant and integrity sometimes scarce. All in an effort to earn that almighty royalty dollar from us as readers.
The advent of computers generating romance novels seems to be an escalation of that trend, an increase in the junk books and a decrease in the heartfelt soul of a novel. I’m worried that there will be a further depreciation in the beauty of the love story.
Am I too much of a purist? Or do you need that personal touch from an actual artist as well? Is AI generated romance the next step? Would you purchase a book created solely from artificial intelligence?