Thinking West: Robo Novels

JohnnyRobotTechnology and science now act as the modern world’s newest frontier. It is a frontier full of excitement, questions, and its share of dangers. The questions brought forth from this nebulous frontier could shape our world and how technological and scientific progress become part and parcel of our daily lives. As we approach the singularity of technological-scientific development, debates have arisen over the role computers, robots, and artificial intelligences will play in human society. One such debate centers over the production of cultural artifacts by robots or computers. More specifically, academics and futurists have discussed the role robots and computers will play in our literary future. A recent article by the BBC focuses on this debate and how far we are from this reality. It appears that despite considerable technological-scientific progress in the realm of computers and robots, we won’t be seeing novels that are entirely generated by self-aware machines just yet. Furthermore, it is hard to say when robots or computers will generate novels or stories on their own, severing the link between computer and programmer. Such a prospect is both exciting and frightening. Will robots or computers write the next great American novel? Will the next Haruki Murakami or Fitzgerald be a robot or a computer? If so, how will this affect culture and writing in general?  Will human readers even care if a novel or story is generated by a thinking machine rather than a human being?

Check out the Verge‘s article on NaNoGenMo and the world of computer generated novels.

More from Jim O’Donnell

Danube River at Night – My Shot of the Day – October 16, 2014.

More Pictures of Beautiful Bratislava by Night.

We be will hosting two major events while Jim O’Donnell is in Portales:

Reading on Friday, the 23rd at 2pm in JWLA 112

Lecture on Thursday the 29th at 2pm in JWLA 112

Thinking West: Comparative Wests Project

Check out the Comparative Wests Project by Stanford University. Read the small blurbs below and check the project’s website (click on “read more here…”).

The Comparative Wests Project is an interdisciplinary collaboration focused on exploring the common histories and shared contemporary issues among Indigenous populations and settler colonialists in Australia, New Zealand, Western South America, the Western United States, Canada, and the Pacific Islands.”

“The Comparative Wests Project explores the shared histories between Indigenous populations and European colonialists and the common contemporary issues that remain as legacies of contact in the many Wests oriented towards the Pacific. The project is especially concerned with understanding the construction and transformation of environments that emerge from interaction between native peoples and invading settler colonialism.”

read more here…

Call for Submissions (Fall 2013 edition)

Call For Submissions:  El Portal

Attention, all writers, artists, photographers, and poets!  Eastern New Mexico University is accepting submissions for the Fall 2013 El Portal.

El Portal is ENMU’s Literature and Arts Journal. It is published biannually.

El Portal and El Portal awards are funded by a grant from the Jack Williamson Trust. The late Dr. Williamson was a science fiction master, author, ENMU professor emeritus of English, and friend to writers and readers everywhere.  He served as the faculty sponsor of El Portal while he taught at ENMU.

Submissions for following categories are needed:

  • Flash Fiction (500-1500 words)
  • Short Stories (up to 4000 words)
  • Creative Nonfiction Essays (up to 4000 words)
  • Poetry (may submit 3-5 poems)
  • Art and Photography (please submit 300 dpi JPEG)

–Please submit all written work in .doc, .docx, or .rtf formats.
–With the exception of poetry and art/photography, please limit entries to one story or essay.
–Works addressing the theme (above) are preferred but not required.
–Prizes will be awarded to ENMU students only.
–Prizes awarded only in Short Story, Poetry, and Art/Photography categories.

Submission Deadline:  October 31, 2013

E-mail: el.portalATenmu.com

Website:  http://www.elportaljournal.com