Google Is Using Romance Novels To Build Artificial Intelligence


When robots take over the world, they may end up spouting the kind of quick-paced dialogue that makes Romance novels and thrillers the most popular genres among readers. The Guardian reports that Google has “swallowed” thousands of books to create artificial intelligence, including thrillers, romance novels, and other genres.

Forster’s thriller is just one of 11,000 novels that researchers including Oriol Vinyals and Andrew M Dai at Google Brain have been using to improve the technology giant’s conversational style. After feeding these books into a neural network, the system was able to generate fluent, natural-sounding sentences. According to a Google spokesman – who didn’t want to be named – products such as the Google app will be “much more useful if they can capture the nuance of language better”.

Several authors, as well as Mary Rasenberger, Executive Director of the Author’s Guild, were less than pleased, seeing this as another example of writers’ work being consumed without attribution, or renumeration.

“The research in question uses these novels for the exact purpose intended by their authors – to be read,” Rasenberger told The Guardian. “It shouldn’t matter whether it’s a machine or a human doing the copying and reading, especially when behind the machine stands a multi-billion dollar corporation which has time and again bent over backwards devising ways to monetise creative content without compensating the creators of that content.”