It could be the plot of one of his novels (an evil artificial intelligence taking over humanity), but the truth is that, to everyone’s surprise, Stephen King, the undefeated genius of horror, has said that he’s okay with feeding it with his books because it’s an unstoppable force. It helps that he’s 75 years old and has life more than sorted out, of course.
The writer of masterpieces like ‘The Long Walk,’ ‘Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,’ or ‘The Green Mile’ (and others, let’s not deny it, not such masterpieces precisely) has published an article in The Atlantic about AI, a debate that is now in the spotlight of all discussions due to the writers’ and actors’ strike. His position is neither positive nor negative, but that of someone shrugging and taking it for granted that he has no choice but to go along.
“I see this possibility with a certain ghastly fascination. Would I forbid the teaching (if that’s the word) of my stories to computers? No, even if I could.” King appears resigned but somewhat hopeful: there can’t be creativity without consciousness, and there are some AIs that are starting to develop it. However, the work, for now, seems to him “like movie money: good at first sight, not so good when you look into it closely.”
“Does it make me nervous? Do I feel like they’ve invaded my territory? Not yet, probably because I’ve reached a fairly advanced age.” King seems to be one of the few individuals in the industry who doesn’t take a radical stance against AI: in the United States, they shut down Prosecraft, a platform that used artificial intelligence to analyze thousands of pirated novels, ironically including about twenty of the horror genius from Maine himself.
By the way, the writer still has a long way to go before retirement: he publishes at least two books a year, almost always, and is as respected by the industry as he is by fans. Could an AI write a sentence like “If being a kid is learning how to live, then being an adult is learning how to die”? Allow me to doubt it.
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