Sci-Fi Author Liu Cixin ‘Used ChatGPT’ To Write Speech

China’s most renowned science fiction author, Liu Cixin, has revealed that he used ChatGPT to help write speeches he delivered at a conference last week.

Hugo-award winning Liu, whose trilogy of novels The Three-Body Problem is being adapted by Netflix, said he was “running out of time” to write the speeches and thought that the chatbot “did very well” with its results.

He made the remarks in a livestreamed interview with Yu Minhong, founder of New Oriental Education & Technology Group, last Wednesday following the conference on Monday and Tuesday, according to Monday local media reports.

Liu said the experience reinforced his expectation that AI could replace certain human activities, but he told Yu he didn’t see it resulting in “AI-ruled humans like what happens in science fiction“.

Image credit: Pexels

Humans sidelined?

“At the current stage … it is likely to replace some human work,” he said.

At the China Science Fiction Convention (CSFC) 2023 in Beijing Liu’s ChatGPT-prepared remarks reportedly touched on the subject of artificial intelligence, with Liu saying that “sooner or later” it would replace or sideline human writers.

He said that while he didn’t see science-fiction writers disappearing completely, their works were likely to become similar to traditional Chinese shadow puppetry – an interesting curiosity, but no longer “mainstream content”.

Last month Chinese Nobel laureate novelist Mo Yan reportedly told a literary event in Shanghai that he had used ChatGPT to write a speech praising fellow author Yu Hua – also due to time constraints.

Generative AI

“A few days ago, I was supposed to write a commendation for him as per tradition, but I struggled for several days and couldn’t come up with anything,” he said, according to the South China Morning Post. “So I asked a doctoral student to help me by using ChatGPT.”

The huge popularity of ChatGPT since its public release last November has spurred major tech companies including Google and China’s Alibaba and Baidu to unveil their own generative AI tools.

The market capitalisation of graphics processor maker Nvidia briefly rose above $1 trillion (£800m) last week as investors rushed to buy into the firm, whose chips are frequently used to train AI systems.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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