Zach Whalen: A Python Script That Writes 800-Page Children’s Books. “You may have heard of NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Mo — which is an even where aspiring authors attempt to start and finish a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. NaNoGenMo is a similar event that simply challenges aspiring authors to write code that will generate a 50,000 word novel. This blog post is the story of my NaNoGenMo effort for 2017, which culminated in The Several Houses of Brian, Spencer, Liam, Victoria, Brayden, Vincent, and Alex, an 800-page novel (PDF download) generated by a Python script. I’m sharing this because I’m pretty happy with the outcome, and I learned a lot about Python in the process.” This is a little outside the ResearchBuzz beam, but I loved reading about it, and figure anyone working in AI can combine this work with AI and have a great time.
China Daily: New translation database promotes Chinese literature overseas . “President Xi Jinping’s report at the 19th CPC National Congress attached great importance to the construction of China’s soft power and cultural confidence, which required a large number of eminent artistic figures to see literature and art thrive. To support contemporary Chinese literary talents and elevate the global influence of Chinese literature, the Chinese Culture Translation and Studies Support Network (CCTSS) and Selected Stories magazine jointly initiated an international database of Chinese writers and works in Beijing, Jan 17.” I could not find an URL for this and didn’t have much luck Googling – I’m probably searching in the wrong language. Thus I’m not sure if this is a completed resource or an initiative launch.
Chronicle of Higher Education: How Twitter Hooks Up Students With Ghostwriters. “It used to be that if students wanted someone to write an essay for them, they had to track someone down themselves. But these days an overwhelmed or desperate student can unintentionally summon legions of eager essay ghostwriters by merely venting frustration on Twitter.”
Hamilton: 1,000th Essay Entered into American Prison Writing Archive . “Earlier this month, the Digital Humanities Initiative, better known as DHi, and Doran Larson, the Walcott-Bartlett Chair of Ethics and Christian Evidences, celebrated the entry of the 1,000th letter into the DHi’s American Prison Writing Archive (APWA). Initiated in 2009 when Larson put out a call for essays from incarcerated people and prison staff about what life was like inside, the archive has grown to more than 1,200 responses in paper form and more than 1,100 online.”
Quartz: MIT researchers trained AI to write horror stories based on 140,000 Reddit posts. “Sometimes the scariest place to be is your own mind. Or Reddit at night. Shelley is an AI program that generates the beginnings of horror stories, and it’s trained by original horror fiction posted to Reddit. Designed by researchers from MIT Media Lab, Shelley launched on Twitter on Oct. 21.”
TheEdWire: 73% of Teachers Think Social Media and Texting is Bad for Grammar and Spelling. “According to a study released today by Dictionary.com, the leading online and mobile English-language resource, a vast majority (73%) of teachers think social media and texting are bad for grammar and spelling but half (50%) use it to better understand their students. Perhaps the online world is making both teachers and students apathetic to these skills because one-third (32%) of teachers say they see their students struggle with grammar, yet admit they care very little about it (15%) in comparison to other skills, like meaning and comprehension (64%).”
Lifehacker: Detect Plagiarism With the Help of This Friendly AI Bot. “The next literary hit to bear the same name as Jane Austen’s 200-year-old masterpiece Emma isn’t a book at all, but a thoroughly modern AI. This Emma — formally Emma Identity — the creation of computer science professor Aleksandr Marchenko, is the world’s first publicly available authorship identification web app. Give her at least 5,000 words of a written piece, and she’ll use more than 50 math parameters to figure out who wrote the lines.”