Let’s face it: writing can be difficult. Time and complexity often prove to be the greatest hurdles for those who dream of becoming an author. That’s where Hiroyuki Oosone’s AI BunCho comes in. Selected for the 2020 INNO-vation Program’s Disruptive Challenge, BunCho assists in writing plots and summaries for short stories by automatically generating scenarios based on inputted keywords.
Oosone likes to write sci-fi novels as a hobby; he often submits his works to publishers in hopes of winning an award. The most challenging part of writing a novel for him is writing descriptive sentences. “I was always pretty good at writing dialogue and synopses, but writing descriptive sentences is where I was lacking,” he explained looking back on his past. “I’d brush up on it by looking at all kinds of different novels, but it was still a challenge.”
Oosone was active in university, researching artificial intelligence. It was there he thought of developing an AI unlike anyone had ever seen – one that would help with writing novels. By using novels published on the internet, he was able to create a database by pooling together all of their relative data. It was from this database that BunCho was born.
When using BunCho, first you must enter 10 keywords from a specific genre or type of novel you would want to write. BunCho then uses these keywords to produce 10 potential titles for the novel. After selecting the desired title, you then input a few keywords that you’d like to see in the synopsis, and the AI generates the plot summary. After brushing up on the generated outline, BunCho will recognize the context of the passage and display phrases that can be used in the text as well. In addition, BunCho can automatically write descriptive sentences in the middle of dialogue just by inputting a few lines of conversation.
“I had my friends who write novels try out the AI, and they gave it quite a good review, particularly with the title generation. Thinking of good titles is unexpectedly difficult, and one person said told me it was nice to have an AI that could think of titles that even we might not come up with ourselves,” Oosone said.
Writing novels can be made a little easier by boxing in plotlines to each portion of the story. Although BunCho was well-received by Oosone’s peers, it still couldn’t generate entire plotlines. And even though it was performing well at producing titles and synopses, it still left a bit to be desired in terms of accuracy. It wasn’t long after running into these roadblocks that Oosone discovered the INNO-vation Program. He said he found out about the program from fellow students in his research lab at university. As it turns out, many of them had applied to the INNO-vation Program already.
In part 2, we’ll speak with Oosone about his time in the INNO-vation Program.
Continued in Part 2 (Coming February 3rd, 2023)