Editors and Good Writers No Longer Needed

Not quite sure what to make of this article in the Guardian first thing on a Monday. Perhaps we should buy some of this software and it's off to Starbucks for mochas all round.

"An American-Israeli company has developed some computer software that is apparently capable of turning any old crass attempt at prose into Proust. They call it "text enrichment" and argue it will become to writers what a calculator has become to the mathematician - all of which is enough to send a shudder down the spine of any self-regarding humanoid of letters...

"It would also seem that science fiction writers have again got it wrong. In the great future-science documentary that was the film of Isaac Asimov's short story collection I, Robot, Will Smith's character smugly argues that machine can never best man since they could never be poets. As it turns out, they have that market covered before they even got to laser death rays."

This clearly means that all editorial departments must be stocked with laser death ray-guns for the fight back. But worry not—it looks like the software is only available on Windows, which means simply feed in any old Dan Brown and it'll crash on the first page.

1 comment:

Simon Haynes said...

The other day I was tempted to blog about a real beauty from the grammar checker, but didn't have the time. This comment will do as a place to air it instead ;-)

The 'Bad' phrase, as written by your human author type: "After H left, C threw himself into the reconstruction effort."

The 'Good' phrase, helpfully corrected by the computer: "After H left, C threw him into the reconstruction."

I just can't wait to see more of this. We've all seen writing honed to perfection with the aid of a thesaurus, so god knows what prettifying software will do.