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  /  Latest News   /  AI is Bringing Shakespeare and Wilde back to Life, Taking ‘Sentience’ to New Levels
AI is Bringing Shakespeare and Wilde back to Life, Taking ‘Sentience’ to New Levels

AI is Bringing Shakespeare and Wilde back to Life, Taking ‘Sentience’ to New Levels

AI is bringing Shakespeare and Wilde back to life, elevating ‘sentience’ to new levels

William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde are long dead and so is the literature created by them. ButAI’s march towards acquiring ‘almost anything’ includes a recent effort to produce the literature of both the icons by following their literary styles. And they are not the only ones in the grips of artificial intelligence (AI) models. But the question is, with what consequences, is it increasing ‘sentience’ to new levels?

While the bard in his physical form cannot be with us any longer and it is impossible to know what would be his own take on AI, the fact is that the AI version of Shakespeare and Wilde is already here! It is being created by inscribing his style and perspective with the purpose of producing his prose with new themes, including his idea of AI. It all started with an innovative experiment at Oxford University in which the artificial intelligence created ‘itself’ to speak on the ethics of technology— a topic that is receiving greater attention with AI’s invincible progress. True to its restless dynamics, AI has now constructed ‘synthetic’ forms of different iconic figures, not just the two mentioned here, but also the likes of Jane Austen and Sir Winston Churchill. Surely, there will be many more. Such figures ‘take part in deliberations, with their respective texts as prepared by AI. At present, whether it is Bard’s sonnet or the characters from the novels of Wilde and Austen, the content focuses on the impending future as designed by AI. It can be anything else from now on with the artificial intelligence model.

The development is part of the AI’s effort to control content creation in every conceivable aspect. The process invites controversies, especially if it is related to the arts of Shakespeare and Wilde. At its mechanical core lies the Natural Language Processing (NLP) through which computers are not only fed thousands of pages of classic texts but also taught to interact with human users by way of prompt or voice recognition. In some cases, AI enthusiasts are going overboard with the capacity of computers. Just some time back an over-enthusiastic software engineer of Google was put on paid leave because he asserted that computers have sentience— the capacity to experience feelings and sensations. Such a claim brings home the point that computers ‘just like human beings are marked by depth of self-awareness and by awareness of others— the foundation of sentience. The engineer is accused of the “breach of commercial confidentiality”, but this ground does not really put under the carpet the contentious issue of AI being made to become at least as good as human beings.

The ethical dimension of AI-generated images has already led careful observers to warn that such images run the risk of acquiring greater acceptance and credibility than the real ones. With the latest experimentation with replication of verses and texts of iconic individuals the already existing apprehension of artificial intelligence, aiding disinformation and deep fakes is bound to intensify. Even if the tech giants tend to deny the sentience factor there is a lurking suspicion among many that AI in its zeal to make technology equivalence to human beings might be going too far with creativity and sentience.