Synthetic Literature: Writing Science Fiction in a Co-Creative Process

Enrique Manjavacas, F.B. Karsdorp, Ben Burtenshaw, Mike Kestemont

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeContribution to conference proceedingsScientificpeer-review


This paper describes a co-creative text generation system applied within a science fiction setting to be used by an established novelist. The project was initiated as part of The Dutch Book Week, and the generated text will be published within a volume of science fiction stories. We explore the ramifications of applying Natural Language Generation within a cocreative process, and examine where the cocreative setting challenges both writer and machine. We employ a character-level language model to generate text based on a large corpus of Dutch novels that exposes a number of tunable parameters to the user. The system is used through a custom graphical user interface, that helps the writer to elicit, modify and incorporate suggestions by the text generation system. Besides a literary work, the output of the present project also includes user-generated meta-data that is expected to contribute to the quantitative evaluation of the text-generation system and the co-creative process involved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Workshop on Computational Creativity in Natural Language Generation (CC-NLG 2017)
Place of PublicationSantiago de Compostela, Spain
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


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