What Happens When A Language Bot Is Asked To Write Stories Based On Famous First Lines From Literature

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Earlier this week, writer Reid McCarter of A.V. Club showed readers what happens when you plug erotic fiction into a language bot built to continue stories. To have some fun, I forced the same language bot to write new stories (non-erotic) for six famous first lines from literature. Keep reading to find out what A.I. programs think your favorite novels are all about.

Based on language models created by OpenAI, Adam King's Talk to Transformer is a fun program that generates new text for a given writing sample, a few words at a time. According to an Aug. 20 tweet from King, Talk to Transformer is currently running OpenAI's "bigger, smarter version of GPT-2" — a program that predicts texts, word by word, based on knowledge gained from its exposure to some 8,000,000 websites.

You can use Talk to Transformer as a boredom-killer, or as a means of jumpstarting your own writing. The program needs nothing more than a sentence to begin generating text for you, so you can easily create your own writing prompts in just a few keystrokes.

Here are some examples of what it can do when given the first lines of famous first novels: