Tag Archives: sociology

Humanity: the first self-help book written entirely by a machine

Humanity is available for Kindle on Amazon.com

Writing is hard. That’s why I enlisted GPT-2, the world-famous AI-powered writing robot, to write me a book overnight while I slept. After being trained by reading millions of real English-language articles on the internet spanning a wide range of genres, I left the machine running overnight to write me a book.

I didn’t ask it to write a self-help book. It decided that by itself. (In fact, in the test run, it wrote a very detailed news report about a bombing in Afghanistan… entirely fictional, of course.)

The machine occasionally got stuck. Sometimes, it would get caught in endless loops and write the same thing over and over again until I intervened. On more than one occasion, it would write “Yours sincerely,” or simply “THE END” and refuse to write any more. These trials were discarded until a coherent book emerged.

To create this masterpiece, I allowed GPT-2 to write whatever it wanted (with creativity set to “high”) without any input prompt. Fortunately, it wrote a numbered list… so I fed each of those list items successively back into GPT-2 (with “moderate” creativity this time) to create each of the chapters.

What emerged is this book, titled Humanity, which is a subjective reflection of human nature as we like to portray ourselves on the internet. It’s dark at times, uplifting at others, and there’s even a realistic (but fake) interview with Donald J. Trump.

Before we blame GPT-2 for writing things we find disagreeable, please remember that humans, collectively, taught GPT-2 literally everything it knows.