Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The future of writing by Google?


This is a test. Google has introduced something called 'Scribe', which will apparently make suggestions as I write. I will write whatever comes into my head, and accept whatever suggestions 'Scribe' makes. Let's see if that room full of monkeys theory can work.

More than a dozen years ago and I have to say that the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and

Ok. That's enough. I typed, 'More', with the intention of beginning with the following sentence. More often than not there are minotaurs and a fish that floats above everything. I hadn't finished typing 'More' when Google 'Scribe' presented it's first suggestion. The suggestions came quickly, word after word with no further input from me. 'Scribe' wound itself into a loop quick smart. I will try one more time, this time typing out my whole original sentence.

More often than not there are minotaurs and a fish that floats above everything. I saw a man in the world of art and industry of choice for children with food allergies and intolerances which is still in awe of the power supply clock signals just as quickly as good as keep my eyes glued to the surface of the substrate and hormonal changes are being made to develop a plan to save the world. 


After I finished the first sentence 'Scribe' had no suggestions until I typed a letter. Quite often 'Scribe' would wait until I chose one letter and then it would carry on for three or four words together.

I am not sure why but 'Scribe' angers me. There is little art in my handwriting and typing has been easy since word processing began but the one thing that has remained is that the writer chooses the words. I choose the words. I suppose I could surrender and laugh and think of this nothing more than a novel way to compose a cut up, an involuntary return to Dadaism or one more thing to take the strain out of remembering to type out conjunctions. But I'm not going to surrender. This is my alphabet, to do with as I please.

In case you were wondering I haven't gone insane. I am aware this a tool that can be turned on, or off, or ignored altogether. It isn't going to change the words pouring thick or becoming elusive and transparent but still something sticks with me about this. I think it is the suggestion that automated prompting can improve what ought not to be improved in this way. Writing is thought made visible and I want it to be original to the author, unique, unprompted by the pen itself. An exact explanation of my revulsion remains elusive but that is my fault, my fault that I am unable to make clear a shifting and newborn feeling and I prefer that it stays that way. At least until I figure it out. I would not like 'Scribe' to choose how I should say this. It feels like there would be thieves among us.

1 comment:

TimT said...

It looks very much like the shortcuts and macros that you can use in Microsoft Word. I use those a lot at work but not much elsewhere.

Next up, Google will trial a software to predict your half-formed thoughts to save you the bother of completing thinking.