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FLASH Review: the Last Writer Or Why the Robot Revolution Failed (novella, J.F. Lawton)


An amusing 45 minutes on audiobook, where a robot assassin sent to kill the last human writer muses over why the robot rebellions keep failing (due to the AI and robot infighting done so well in Sea of Rust ) and that none of the other robots no longer invite him to the current robot cabals (older robots like him are associated with failure). The story coins a clever moniker, anthropomorpher, for those annoying humans who insist on treating robots as if they were human, which Kryon in his grumpy Murderbot way, finds insulting. The idea that AI software will write better fiction than humans isn’t so far-fetched, given that the Associated Press now uses Automated Insights to delegate writing sports articles with “different narratives,” Bloomberg uses Cyborg to generate quarterly earnings reports on companies, and the Washington Post used Heliograph to write about the 2016 presidential election. Read and consider what is more scary: that AI packages using the same imperfect natural language processing software as Siri and Alexa are writing reports that demonstrably impact the stock market or that Hewlett Packard paid for an article placed on AP’s website about how AI writing is the way of the future. If you like The Last Writer (and there is not reason why you wouldn’t), check out Martha Well’s brilliant, award winning Murderbot series for longer grumpy robot complaining about humans humor or Rob Dirks’ The Wrong Unit for a ROFL clueless robot overlord.


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