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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Award-Winning Novel Admits to AI Co-Authorship

📸 ModelProp / Midjourney

In a surprising revelation, Japanese author Rie Kudan, winner of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, admitted to a rather unconventional co-author for her novel: an AI chatbot, ChatGPT.


Kudan's novel, "The Tokyo Tower of Sympathy", has been lauded as "flawless" by critics. But the plot thickened post-ceremony when Kudan confessed that around 5% of her novel was "quoted verbatim" from sentences generated by ChatGPT.


“I made active use of generative AI like ChatGPT in writing this book,” Kudan announced, throwing the literary world into a tizzy. The novel, set in an alternate near future where AI is integral to daily life, utilised ChatGPT to mimic the way “soft and fuzzy words” blur ideas about justice.


Social media users were divided over Kudan's AI-assisted writing method. "I wonder: was this legitimate, creative use of AI?" pondered one user on X, formerly Twitter.


Despite the controversy, Kudan plans to maintain her "good relationships" with AI, using it as a tool to "unleash my creativity."


This isn't the first time ChatGPT has stirred the literary pot. In 2023, OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT, faced a class-action lawsuit from 17 authors, including literary heavyweights like George R.R. Martin and Jodi Picoult. The authors claimed the company had used their copyrighted works to train its programs, making them "unwilling accomplices in their own replacement."


As AI continues to permeate our lives, questions around its ethical use and impact on traditional industries like literature continue to surface. For now, though, it seems AI has found a home in the world of fiction, co-authoring award-winning novels.



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