Would you read a novel written by AI?

The use of AI in writing novels is a ‘con trick’ according to celebrated British author and journalist Frederick Forsyth.

Mr Forsyth, best known for thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File, argued that AI could be used for editorial purposes but the core creation and attribution of novels must be human.

In an interview with TalkTV’s Rosanna Lockwood, he said: “It's a con trick, frankly, I got no time for it. I believe that artificial intelligence, however sophisticated it may be, is still essentially the product of a machine, not a human brain.

“If you're going to write a novel, I think it will be your novel, meaning stemming 100% from your brain. That I suspect is what the reader paying good money over a counter will expect and want.”

It comes after author and entrepreneur Ajay Chowdhury used AI to create his latest novel, The Detective.

Mr Chowdhury initially researched the pitfalls of using AI but found its uses were useful to cut down his editing time.

He said: “I don't think any novel is the product of one person's brain, you have editors, you have readers, you have a lot of people who provide input into it. The way I use it, I will never use AI to write my book for me.

“But I would use it very much to bounce ideas off, just as I might have my editor, and I would absolutely use it if I'm stuck.

“It actually cut the time of writing and gave my editor a much more polished draft.”

The authors agreed AI is not advanced enough to create authenticity within a story, or empathetic and lovable characters.

Mr Chowdhury said: “When people read my books, they read them because they like the characters, they like the arcs, and the AI could come up with a plot.

“Indeed, occasionally, if I'm stuck, I'll go to the AI and ask it for ideas and I might use some of those ideas, but will never actually create a great character in my view.”

Mr Forsyth concurred: “I think it's a question of attribution. As long as that's made plain, I don't think there's any trickery involved.

“What I worry about is that it may not be made plain that some of this comes from a machine, a clever machine, but nevertheless a machine.”

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