Did A Computer Or A Human Write This?

101 Books

According to the New York Times, “a shocking amount of what we’re reading is created not by humans, but by computer algorithms.”

Really? I had no idea.

I understand that spam bots generate a lot of web content that ends up going into filters and never sees the light of day. But I was surprised by the amount of real, quality writing that’s actually generated by computers and their fancy algorithms.

Here’s an example from a quiz on the Times’ site

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Calling all budding young authors!

Leeds Reads

Have you got an aspiring young writer in the family?The spaghetti yeti

Budding young writers can have a spring in their step thanks to a great new story competition. And there is even the chance for them to have their story read out at Leeds Central Library as the prize. The Yorkshire Evening Post has teamed up with Leeds Library and Information Service for this Spring-themed contest.

To enter children just have to write a story of 200 words or less. It must also start with the following intro which is not included in the word count.

“It really felt like the first day of Spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw something sparkling on the grass…….. ”

There will be categories for primary schoolchildren, secondary schoolchildren and pupils at special schools. The winning stories will then be read out by Leeds illustrator and author of Mariella Mystery Investigates series, Kate Pankhurst on April…

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Book #78: Housekeeping

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I want to say awesome things about Housekeeping.

I want to tell you how much I loved the novel, how much the characters moved me, and how engaged I was by Marilynne Robinson’s story.

But I can’t.

If I had to describe Housekeeping in one word, it’s this: Dull.

Sorry to those of you who love this novel, but I could simply never engage with this story. I’m not saying Housekeeping didn’t have its high points, many of which I’ve shared with you in other blog posts.

For example, I still love this passage.

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64 Classic Books Battle It Out Bracket-Style

101 Books

Every March, I think about making up a great books bracket, matching up 64 of the best novels ever head to head, a la March Madness style. But I’ve never done it.

This year, Book Pal beat me to it.

They created a bracket featuring an outstanding list of 64 novels broken down into four regions: The Dickens Region (pre-1900s lit), The Hemingway Region (post-1900s lit), the Seuss Region (kids’ classics), and the Rowling Region (YA).

Most of the tournament’s first round is complete with some notable upsets:

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With Naked Lunch, I Might Have Finally Met My Match

101 Books

It’s happened to all of us.

A novel makes a “best of” list, maybe like Time Magazine’s—the critics love it—some of our friends say it’s great and some online reviews say it’s a good read.

Then we start reading the novel, and we’re like, Um, I don’t get it. But there’s something in the back of our mind saying, I’m supposed to like this novel! What am I missing?

I’m there right now. In reading Naked Lunch, I might have met my match, and I’m not sure what to do.

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