Why I Am Collaborating with Bing Chatbot
As of late, I have been playing with Microsoft’s OpenAI (aka Bing Chatbot) by asking it to take snippets from my recently re-published novella, Reunion, and reimagine them in the styles of famous writers, including William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Tom Clancy, and Ernest Hemingway.
Why am I doing this?
Well, one reason is “curiosity.” I love words and wordplay (otherwise I would have been an accountant instead of a writer…or, at least I would have been an accountant if I had a good head for numbers, which I certainly do not possess). I also have a healthy relationship with technology, even though there are some aspects of this brave new world of artificial intelligence and dependence on gadgets that I am somewhat leery about.
As a newcomer to the world of fiction, I don’t have any notion of becoming “the next Ernest Hemingway” or “a worthy successor to the legacy of Tom Clancy.” I am still working hard to find my own style or “voice” as a storyteller. Still, when I learned that OpenAI can mimic the writing styles of “the Great Authors” – or, in Clancy’s case, New York Times Best-Selling Authors – I started wondering if the Bing Chatbot had the ability to make my work sound anything like Shakespeare’s…or Poe’s…or Hemingway’s.
For the most part, I have asked OpenAI to take the “blurb” from the back cover of Reunion and reimagine it as if Shakespeare or Poe had written it. I find it interesting to note how different that bit of summary looks when it’s presented as either an Elizabethan-era poem by the Bard or a 19th Century ode from the pen of The Raven’s creator. And because OpenAI can access Amazon’s product page for Reunion and “read” the blurb (but not the story itself), the chatbot was able to do credible (but not perfect) renditions of it in different authors’ styles.
And since I am a self-published author and must do my own marketing to drum up sales of my book, I also figured that these reimaginings by OpenAI of my work are a creative way to call attention to Reunion. I can’t afford to buy any advertising on social media, so I must think out of the box and come up with innovative ways to “sell” my novella.
The Age of Artificial Intelligence, or: From Will Shakespeare to Edith Wharton
Okay, so far I’ve asked OpenAI to mimic:
- William Shakespeare
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Tom Clancy
- Ernest Hemingway
Today, I present to you a short excerpt from Reunion as reinterpreted by OpenAI in the style of Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth):
“Echoes of the Past: A Journey Through the Corridors of Memory”
Adapted from Reunion: A Story by Microsoft’s OpenAI (Bing Chatbot) in the style of Edith Wharton
In the recesses of my mind’s eye, I beheld the thronged classrooms and corridors of my high school days, where my companions and I had shared both triumphs and tragedies; where the phantoms of our past still linger. Visions danced before me. I saw the countenances of instructors and classmates I had not laid eyes upon in years. I heard fragments of melodies I had rehearsed in third-period chorus. I saw the library where I had spent many an hour studying after school.
But above all else, I saw Marty.
Marty as a timid sophomore, auditioning before Mrs. Quincy, the school choir director.
Marty at the 1981 Homecoming Dance, resplendent after being chosen as Junior Princess.
Marty singing her first solo at the 1981 Christmas concert.
Marty sitting solitary in the chorus practice room on the final day of our senior year. I gazed intently at those sepia-toned recollections. And as my mind bore me back to the place I had vowed never to revisit, I remembered.
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