It's been way too long since I last updated this blog. Possibly as - as periodically happens - I've been so busy with work that I haven't really had the chance to focus on creative endeavours. Maybe, at some point, when I have more time, I'll go into a bit more detail of what I've been up to. But in the meantime, here is just a quick announcement that I'll be reading a flash piece at "42" tonight at Script Haven, Worcester (104 High St). I'll be reading a currently unpublished piece called "A Common Writing Whereby Two People, Although Not Understanding One the Other's Language, Yet by the Help Thereof, May Communicate Their Minds One to Another." Catchy, eh?
The title comes from Francis Lodwick's 1647 manuscript on creating an alphabet which makes any language understandable to people of other languages. This one is notable as I have had the idea for a while but I wasn't able to translate it into an actual story - even a surreal flash piece - and so I used AI as a writing aid. Now, I have mixed feelings about AI. In general, I feel it will be a negative force, not because of terminator-style AIs rampaging about hunting humanity, but because of its impact on employment. It has the potential to destroy whole industries in a way that even the First Industrial Revolution did not manage to do. Similarly, from a creative point of view, AI is currently not good enough to be a genuine danger to writers - its prose style is too mechanical and "Janet and John"-y and frankly I am amazed that so many people have attempted to use AI to write stories which they have then attempted to publish! However, as a creative writing aid, I think it holds a lot of promise. Like "automatic witing" or group collaborations where people write a sentence then pass the story on so someone else can write the next sentence, and various other "creative games," I think AI may be useful in potentially triggering ideas or even coming up with ideas which can then be adapted. And that was exactly the case here - I fed the AI some prompts with varying instructions then saw what it came up with. Obviously, much of the prose was basic rubbish, but a couple of drafts did come up with some plot directions I had not envisioned. Combining these two ideas lead to this unwritable story finally coming together in a way I could actually write.
I'll be reading it tonight at 7:15pm.