Author Stephen Marche builds a co-writer with AI

Together with

Author and journalist Stephen Marche “wrote” the novel Death of an Author using three AI systems. The AI co-writer, named Aidan Marchine (also an AI-generation), may test the limits of what constitutes “creation” and actual “writing” in the eyes of the literary industry, the law, and, ultimately, the reading public.

A Marche & Marchine novel

The upcoming book Death of an Author by Stephen Marche (The Hunger of the Wolf, How Shakespeare Changed Everything) came about in a truly novel way

  • Marche started by putting an outline of the story, some prompts, and various notes into ChatGPT. 
  • He then used Sudowrite to make sentences longer or shorter to build a rhythm, make the tone more conversational, and make the writing sound more like Ernest Hemingway.
  • He then used Cohere to make certain lines pop — a process of describing something like coffee and asking the AI to generate similes.

The resulting novel — a murder mystery about an AI-using author that is killed — will be released next month as an audiobook and e-book by audio production company Pushkin Industries. The publisher used AI for nearly every aspect of putting the book together, including cover art and blurbs.

The one thing they didn’t use AI for, though, was the audiobook narration. They hired human Edoardo Ballerini to handle those duties.


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