September 16, 2021

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The US town ruled by an AI storyteller

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Storytellers often talk about writing as a kind of mystical process. The beat generation poet Philip Lamantia believed that in order to create authentic writing one had to first reach a trance-like state in between sleep and wakefulness – a place of the primal sources of creativity that, according to him, could be attained with the help of a little peyote. A thousand years before that the poet Homer was invoking the muses of Grecian myths in reach a similar state of inspiration, suggesting that as far back as the writing of The Odyssey, storytelling was viewed as a partnership with something other than human.

What about stories developed in partnership with artificial intelligence?

This can feel at odds with the romantic view of storytelling, where the author inhales creative inspiration and exhales exacting prose. But perhaps it presents another way of understanding the muse – an electric muse working in partnership with the artist.

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