Stories created by AI with NLP …

Natural Language Processing (NLP) models are gaining popularity in a variety of document writing and creative tasks such as legal notes, conversational chatbots, rephrasing sentences, gaming scripts, movie scripts, music lyrics, slogan writing, news articles, blog posts, journalism, poetry and novel generation.

However the current challenges with the majority of such language models is they offer limited interaction support for users, and thus the control factors require far more explicit training and testing. Or flat out wasting a writers time where they’d spend make time editing and proofreading than writing.

Now comes a report about a text editor called Wordcraft, from the Google Research team, with a built-in AI-powered creative writing assistant.

The google Wordcraft white paper proposes a text editor tool that supports a variety of story writing tasks such as continuation, infilling and rewriting, while also providing users the ability to create custom tasks on the fly. It also goes into some techniques for utilizing dialog models.

The UI for this text editor is a simple web interface that has the look and feel of a notepad or any other basic text editor. A few key extras are basic commands that trigger requests to the NLP assistant.

The NLP commands have a dynamic feel to them depending on the writers usage. Certain commands appear if they are using it as traditional text editor (think how Word has edit/review now for grammar and spelling). While another set of commands appear if the writer highlights a particular section of text they would like the NLP assistant to focus on.

Writers are presented with only a blank screen at the start like most text editors and as they write text, certain options appear on the right (along with their keyboard shortcuts) for utilizing the NLP assistant to perform one of the supported interactions and commands. A writer can also try out their own queries by modifying the prompts.

The Wordcraft text editor uses an open-ended dialog system for text generation. This allows the UI to have functionality where the writer can ask the AI to do story specific tasks like “Help me describe my dog charley’s emotional state” in addition to providing clickable support for standard tasks like continuation and elaboration.

The dialog system used is Meena (Adiwardana et al., 2020), a language model that is broadly capable of following instructions and answering questions posed in a conversational format.

The Google research team hypothesize that open-ended dialogue systems are better suited to interactive writing than GPLMs. They see the Wordcraft text editor as a comprehensive sandbox for launching deeper investigations into the strengths and weaknesses of using language models for multi-purpose creative writing assistants and systems.

It’s a future where AI powered text editors can rephrase sentences as well as shape entire narratives of a article or story.

Writing is hard

Google Wordcraft white paper