This lengthy opinion piece by Jacob Mikanowski in the Los Angeles Review of Books is a good read if you’re interested in the future of publishing, books and writing in general. It’s something of a history lesson with a few pointers to the future along the way. This section jumped out at me,
The current attempts at machine-led literary analysis and production (you know — what used to be called writing) tend to be pretty feeble. But they’re also in their infancy. What will their capabilities be in a hundred years? In a thousand? Playing with their crude interfaces, I don’t know where I am on the historical continuum: will computerized authors submit work to computerized critics? link
There is a popular series of books for children. I’m not going to name it here, but someone who knows someone told me the stories are entirely computer generated. Which reminded me of the scene in Blade Runner,
Rachael: Do you like our owl?
Deckard: It’s artificial?
Rachael: Of course it is.
Deckard: Must be expensive.
Rachael: I’m Rachael.
Rachael: It seems you feel our work is not a benefit to the public.
Deckard: Replicants are like any other machine – they’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem. link
I wonder if people in the future will seek out books written by people in the same way characters yearn for real animals in Do androids dream of electric sheep? (the book Blade Runner is based upon). And where is the line between real and artificial, between hand written and computer generated?
Anyway, back to work.