How computers are writing books and articles (you might be reading right now…)

Professions to be automated: education, writing and military

According to WIRED magazine three professions might be extinct in the near future and replaced by smart software or machine learning algorithms doing their work in a fraction of time and at almost no cost. The three professional categories due to be automated are: education, writing and military. Philip M Parker, whose company ICON Group International has published over 1m algorithmically generated books in a very short time breaking all the Guinness book records. It usually takes his software about 20 minutes to write, check and publish the ebook online. $0.20 to $0.50 is the production cost which is the cost of electricity and hardware and some of his books sell for hundreds of dollars. Any material that has a formulaic structure (including novels because all of them follow six themes or basic plots) can be written by an automated system.

Automated journalism

Automated journalism and writing

Most of his books are for niche subjects within larger categories such as health for example, but his team has taken the challenge of writing a software to produce novels. His software is not limited to written works. A PhD can be written in 20 minutes too – watch his TED talk below.

Automated journalism is a fact. Many articles you’re reading (especially sports reviews) are written by machines. Software such as Wordsmith can generate articles and content with very little input from humans.


Using 3D animation and avatars, a variety of audio and video formats can be generated as well as games. Using software to write reports and news is not new, the Chicago-based Narrative Science has been producing sports news and financial articles for Forbes for a while and fake computer generated papers are very common. Experts estimate that 90% of news and articles would be generated by computers in the next 10 years.

Watch Philip M Parker talking about the process

2008 interview with Philip M Parker

A PhD can be written in 20 minutes – difficult to believe – watch this TED talk below

How computers are writing books and articles (you might be reading right now…)
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