An artificial intelligence bot writes stories of the macabre


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Machines are taking over jobs, taking over lives, and just plain taking over. This common fear is an inspiration for a new AI bot created by the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), nicknamed “Shelley.” But, rather than being part of that particular horror story, “she” is writing her own scary stories. Named for the English writer Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who penned Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, Shelley is an AI system that feeds on the horrors of other writers. “Nowadays, nothing seems to frighten humanity more than runaway intelligent machines,” MIT research scientist Manuel Cebrian writes in an email, citing concerns from mass unemployment all the way through to the annihilation of the human race. “We wanted to playfully commemorate humanity’s fear of AI.”

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