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The Birth of the
Algorithmic Author:
NLG Systems as Tools and Agents
Leah Henrickson
Loughborough University
l.r.henrickson@lboro.ac.uk
twitter.com/leahhenrickson
15 July 2019
StephenPentecost,VelvetBlackSky(2018)<https://github.com/NaNoGenMo/2018/issues/65>
@leahhenrickson
The more I deal with personal
computing, the more the computer
becomes an extension of my own
mind. I am far more creative and
productive than I could be without
it. A computer is really an amplifier
of a person. With it you can take
whatever you do and do even more
– which enhances the kinds of
problems you can attack and solve.
And if you're programming, the act
of debugging may change the way
that you think about solving
problems.
Natalie Dehn, ‘Natalie Dehn Reflects on Artificial Intelligence’, Personal Computing, 7.6 (June 1983), 49-53, 213 (p. 213). @leahhenrickson
@leahhenrickson
@leahhenrickson
@leahhenrickson
Readers
attribute
authorship
to computer-
generated
texts.
@leahhenrickson
Lingering doubts about whether the chess-playing computer
really has beliefs and desires are misplaced; for the definition
of Intentional systems I have given does not say that
Intentional systems really have beliefs and desires, but that
one can explain and predict their behavior by ascribing
beliefs and desires to them, and whether one calls what one
ascribes to the computer beliefs or belief-analogues or
information complexes or Intentional whatnots makes no
difference to the nature of the calculation one makes on the
basis of ascriptions.
Daniel Dennett, ‘Intentional Systems’, The Journal of Philosophy, 68.4 (1971), 87-106 (p. 91). @leahhenrickson
Writing well is difficult for a person to do, and it is also very
difficult for a computer to do. As we have seen, there is an
intimate relationship between the writer and his reader,
although these two individuals may be separated by many
miles and years.
A computer that has such a relationship with a reader is
difficult to achieve. Because the writer has to share a
common background with a reader (at some level) to be a
successful writer, the computer must have this common
background built in by the author of its writing programs.
Richard P. Gabriel, ‘Deliberate Writing’, in Natural Language Generation Systems, ed. by David D. McDonald and Leonard Bolc (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1988), pp. 1-46 (p. 9). @leahhenrickson
Why does this matter?
Reflection upon the particular labour economies driving NLG
Recognition of the transformative social power of system output
Nuanced discussions of how NLG conforms to and/or confronts
conventional author-reader relationships
@leahhenrickson
Leah Henrickson
Loughborough University
l.r.henrickson@lboro.ac.uk
twitter.com/leahhenrickson

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The Birth of the Algorithmic Author: NLG Systems as Tools and Agents

  • 1. The Birth of the Algorithmic Author: NLG Systems as Tools and Agents Leah Henrickson Loughborough University l.r.henrickson@lboro.ac.uk twitter.com/leahhenrickson 15 July 2019
  • 3. The more I deal with personal computing, the more the computer becomes an extension of my own mind. I am far more creative and productive than I could be without it. A computer is really an amplifier of a person. With it you can take whatever you do and do even more – which enhances the kinds of problems you can attack and solve. And if you're programming, the act of debugging may change the way that you think about solving problems. Natalie Dehn, ‘Natalie Dehn Reflects on Artificial Intelligence’, Personal Computing, 7.6 (June 1983), 49-53, 213 (p. 213). @leahhenrickson
  • 8. Lingering doubts about whether the chess-playing computer really has beliefs and desires are misplaced; for the definition of Intentional systems I have given does not say that Intentional systems really have beliefs and desires, but that one can explain and predict their behavior by ascribing beliefs and desires to them, and whether one calls what one ascribes to the computer beliefs or belief-analogues or information complexes or Intentional whatnots makes no difference to the nature of the calculation one makes on the basis of ascriptions. Daniel Dennett, ‘Intentional Systems’, The Journal of Philosophy, 68.4 (1971), 87-106 (p. 91). @leahhenrickson
  • 9. Writing well is difficult for a person to do, and it is also very difficult for a computer to do. As we have seen, there is an intimate relationship between the writer and his reader, although these two individuals may be separated by many miles and years. A computer that has such a relationship with a reader is difficult to achieve. Because the writer has to share a common background with a reader (at some level) to be a successful writer, the computer must have this common background built in by the author of its writing programs. Richard P. Gabriel, ‘Deliberate Writing’, in Natural Language Generation Systems, ed. by David D. McDonald and Leonard Bolc (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1988), pp. 1-46 (p. 9). @leahhenrickson
  • 10. Why does this matter? Reflection upon the particular labour economies driving NLG Recognition of the transformative social power of system output Nuanced discussions of how NLG conforms to and/or confronts conventional author-reader relationships @leahhenrickson