Elizabeth: Learning by Reading

robot_reading_a_bookWhile surfing around the internet recently I came across this article talking about how Google engineers have been feeding their Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine romance novels in an effort to improve its conversational skills.

I have to admit I was intrigued, though I could have done without the references to “bodice-ripping romance novels” and comments like “the plots are all essentially the same, the story is just being told with new words each time” that appeared in a majority of the reporting on the subject.

Anyway, engineers fed Google’s AI engine over 2,500 romance novels and then tasked the engine with writing sentences of its own, based on what it had learned.  The goal of the exercise was for the AI engine to learn how to craft sentences that were conversational and included nuances of tone and style not normally associated with computer-generated language. Continue reading

Jilly: Creative Re-Writing

Creative Re-writingHave you ever read or watched a story that frustrated you so much you re-wrote it in your head the way you wanted it?

I was still at school the first time it happened to me. A friend lent me Gone With The Wind, and since even then I was a committed lover of the happy ending, she assured me that everything turned out okay in the end. I sobbed through the final chapters waiting for the reversal that never came. I dealt with it by imagining my own version of the story, and I’ve never re-read the original since. I’m still on speaking terms with the ‘friend’ who caused my book trauma, but it was touch and go for a while.

I’ve been revisiting the question this week Continue reading

Elizabeth: What Did You Read Wednesday?

Girls laying on the grass with booksThe Memorial Day festivities are done, students are graduating from schools around the country, and baseball season is in full swing. That should mean long, sunny days, perfect for any number of outdoor activities, but the weather in my neck of the woods has apparently not gotten the memo. The holiday weekend was cool and windy and there was definite moisture on the windows on my way to work this morning. Hardly conducive to barbeques or yard work, but perfect for curling up with some espresso, a cuddly cat, and a random draw from the To Be Read pile.

Here’s how my reading went: Continue reading