AI novel wins Akutagawa Prize, Japan’s top literary award

AI novel wins Akutagawa Prize, Japan’s top literary award

A novel that was partly written with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) has won one of Japan’s most prestigious literary awards, the Akutagawa Prize.

Rie Kudan, the author of the AI novel, confessed that she used ChatGPT, an AI chatbot program, to generate some sentences for her book, which is set in a futuristic Tokyo where AI is a common theme.

AI novel
Image Source: Twitter

The AI novel: The Tokyo Tower of Sympathy

The AI novel, titled “The Tokyo Tower of Sympathy”, tells the story of Sara Makina, an architect who is designing a tower that will serve as a rehabilitation center for criminals, and Takuto, a young man who is writing her biography.

As Makina works on the tower project, she struggles with her own prejudice and hatred towards the criminals, who are supposed to be reformed by the tower’s AI system.

The AI novel explores the complex and controversial issues of justice, morality, and human nature in a society where AI is ubiquitous and influential.

The AI chatbot: ChatGPT

Kudan, who is 33 years old, said that she used ChatGPT, an AI chatbot program, to assist her in writing the AI novel. She said that she quoted verbatim about five percent of the sentences that were produced by ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is a generative AI program that can create natural and coherent texts based on a given input or context. It can also mimic different styles and tones of writing, such as formal, casual, or humorous.

Kudan said that she chose ChatGPT to help her create the AI novel because she wanted to capture the way that “soft and fuzzy words” can obscure and distort the concepts of justice and truth.

She said that she was aware of the potential risks and challenges of using AI in writing, such as plagiarism, ethics, and quality.

“I want to use the words with care, and to think about the positive and negative aspects of language,” she said after receiving the award, according to The Times UK.

The Literary Prize: Akutagawa Prize

The Akutagawa Prize is one of Japan’s most prestigious and influential literary awards, given to the best novel or short story by a new or emerging writer.

It is named after Ryunosuke Akutagawa, a renowned Japanese writer who is considered the father of the Japanese short story.

The prize is awarded twice a year, in January and July, by a panel of judges who are prominent writers and critics.

The judges praised Kudan’s AI novel as “flawless” and “difficult to find any faults” in. They also said that it was “highly entertaining and interesting work, that prompts debate about how to consider it.”

“It is a novel that reflects the current era, where AI is becoming more and more prevalent and powerful,” said judge Shuichi Yoshida.

Kudan, who said that she often experiments with AI for inspiration, said that she hopes to maintain “good relationships” with ChatGPT and other AI programs, and to “unleash [her] creativity” with their help.

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Literature, which organizes the Akutagawa Prize, did not comment on Kudan’s use of AI in writing the AI novel, according to the Agence France-Presse.

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