What seemed like science fiction is now a reality. Technology companies like Microsoft or Google are creating the first artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots that allow us to have real-time conversations to collect information and create new content. For example, TikTok has just announced that it is testing an AI application that will allow us to create avatars based on our physical appearance and personality.
The potential of these technologies is so great that entrepreneurs like Elon Musk have warned about the danger that AI can pose to humanity if there are no controls and regulations. How many movies have we seen where intelligent machines rebel against humans? Still, we cannot escape the fact that AI is here to stay, and it will transform all facets of our lives.
For storytellers, AI has the potential to generate positive impact, with some precautions. To write this post, for example, I consulted the ChatGPT chatbot that OpenAI launched at the end of November 2022. While it still makes many mistakes, this free AI software has garnered attention for its fast and detailed responses.
How will storytelling evolve with the arrival of AI?
Here we explore some possible short- and medium-term effects of these technologies on storytelling:
1. Content creation. AI can automatically generate stories, scripts, and dialogues. This can be useful in helping writers come up with new plots and characters, as well as speeding up the content production process.
However, caution must be exercised in the use of AI to produce content, as it can be a source of plagiarism and a lack of imagination in our narratives, as we may become accustomed to AI being an easy and readily available source of content.
For now, there is no machine that can replace the creativity or quality of human storytelling, but the capacity of these technologies to generate coherent and grammatically correct stories is impressive. Artificial intelligence enhances storytelling. For example, I asked ChatGPT if it could create a 250-word story if I provided the first sentence. The sentence I gave was: «Marta was trembling with excitement.»
And the story ChatGPT created, in a matter of seconds, was as follows:
Marta was trembling with excitement as she waited backstage for her first solo concert. She had dreamed of this moment since she was a little girl, and now that it was finally happening, she could barely contain her emotions.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to stay calm. The sound of the audience roaring grew in intensity, and she knew it was time to take the stage. She walked to the center of the stage, her hands still trembling with excitement. She looked out at the crowd, which was cheering and applauding her.
Marta began to sing, carried away by the music and emotions that had brought her there. Her voice was strong and confident, and soon the crowd joined in, singing with her. The energy on stage was incredible, and Marta felt completely alive. Every time she finished a song, the crowd roared and applauded, encouraging her to keep going. During that moment, Marta knew she had found her true passion in life and that she would never stop pursuing it.
The story is simple, unsurprising, but it has the structure of a good story(e.g. narrative tension, climax, and resolution) and can be inspiring for a writer who decides to expand or reimagine the plot.
2. Personalization.AI can help content creators personalize stories for different audiences. This can include adjusting story elements such as tone, structure, characters, and narrative style to fit the interests and preferences of the audience. For example, I asked ChatGPT to describe a Spanish pirate from the 18th century as a reference to create a novel character. This was the response:
Diego had been born in the south of Spain, where he had learned to navigate from a very young age. Over time, he had joined a pirate crew and had proven his worth on countless occasions. He had sailed all over the Caribbean, plundering ships and striking fear into any vessel that stood in his way.
Despite his rough appearance and reputation as a dangerous man, Diego had a noble heart and a deeply ingrained moral code. He did not steal from the poor or attack ships carrying food and medicine, but instead focused on those transporting riches and valuable goods.
3. Interactivity. Interactive narratives are becoming increasingly popular with the rise of video games and narratives that allow us to make decisions to reach different outcomes. As AI becomes more advanced, the reader will be able to choose the direction of the story, the characters they want to follow, and the outcome they want to see.
For example, chatbots can be created to interact with viewers and allow them to make decisions that affect the plot of the story. This will lead to a more engaging and interactive experience.
4. Immersive experiences.AI can allow for more immersive and realistic experiences in storytelling. For example, AI can enhance the virtual and augmented reality experiences by creating characters and objects that behave more realistically and authentically. AI can also help create more natural interactions between the user and the virtual world, which can make the virtual reality experience more satisfying and exciting.
5. Data analysis. AI can also be used to analyze audience data and act as an «editor» that provides ideas to improve stories and adapt them to the interests of different readers.
For example, data analysis tools can analyze online reader behavior, including pages visited, time spent reading a story, and reactions through comments or social media. AI can use this data to identify patterns and trends in the audience, which can help editors make informed decisions about what stories to publish and how to adapt them.
Will AI kill traditional storytelling?
In summary, we can say that artificial intelligence enhances storytelling, from content creation to customization and interaction with the audience. As technology continues to evolve, we are likely to see even more changes and improvements in storytelling. To calm the fears of the most pessimist, I asked the chatbox if, with the arrival of AI, literature had died. Its response is hopeful:
No, literature will not die with AI. In fact, artificial intelligence can be a very useful tool to help writers in their creative process. While it is true that AI can generate texts, these are usually of inferior quality to texts written by a human author with literary skills. AI is capable of imitating linguistic patterns and generating coherent text, but it lacks the creativity and emotion that characterize truly impactful and moving storytelling.
No solo nos gusta contar historias, sino también vivirlas.
Como las que contaban los abuelos, o la de esa gran novela que leíste; vivirlas es imaginarlas, sentirlas.
Porque contar buenas historias en cualquier medio creativo o corporativo es un arte que nos apasiona, te damos la bienvenida.