news | Thursday June 8, 2023

Collaboration Between Leanne Dunic and Ken Liu in Orion Magazine

If you’re looking for a good read, check out this essay “The Magic in the Machine” in Orion Magazine. This piece is a collaboration between mutlidisciplinary artist Leanne Dunic, whose photography appears in this essay, and novelist Ken Liu, who explores what sort of stories AI is able to tell.

The essay offers readers a GPT-3-generated fairytale fed by Liu’s prompts (and supplemented by Liu in turn imitating the AI) that works in brilliant tandem with Dunic’s photography, which juxtaposes lush forest imagery with digital effects.

From the essay:

“There is no single author of ‘The Princess and the Robot.’ I wrote it, and so did the machine, and so did all the authors who wrote before me and who contributed to the training corpus of the machine…

(I haven’t told you exactly how much of the tale was from me and how much from the machine, but does it matter? Every word I wrote was influenced by the machine. Even if I deleted all the words written by the machine and rewrote the missing lines in “my own words”—whatever that means—that still wouldn’t change the analysis.)”

Fascinating and philosophical, the complete work can be found here.