The recipient of Japan’s top literary award said AI-based ChatGPT made a “small part” of her sci-fi story, attributing her creative breakthroughs to the technology.

Since the introduction of ChatGPT in 2022, this user-friendly conversational AI agent capable of writing essays quickly has raised concerns about its potential impact in various industries, including the world of literature. Ri Kudan’s recent work Sympathy Tower Tokyo noted for its near perfection and broad appeal, won the biannual Akutagawa Prize. Set in the Tokyo of tomorrow, it focuses on the story of a high-rise penitentiary complex and the creator’s harsh view of lawbreakers, where artificial intelligence plays a significant role.

An Award-Winning Japanese Writer Uses ChatGPT in Her WritingThe 33-year-old writer frankly talks about the important role of artificial intelligence in her writing work. In a post-award press conference, she stated, “I used generative AI like ChatGPT extensively when writing this piece,” and admitted that about “five percent of the content directly quotes AI-generated text.” In addition to her literary pursuits, Kudan said that she often communicates with artificial intelligence, sharing her deepest secrets that she cannot reveal to others. In some cases, feedback from ChatGPT even sparked some of the dialogue in her book. Looking to the future, she wants to maintain a “positive relationship” with AI and further “expand her creative horizons” in harmony with it.

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Literature, which is responsible for the Akutagawa Prize, declined to comment when asked for a statement. The use of AI in literature caused mixed reactions in social networks. Some question the ethics of such a methodology and whether it deserves recognition. One user on the platform formerly known as Twitter asked: “Skillful use of artificial intelligence while writing…is that considered talent? Hard to say”. Some praise her ingenuity and dedication to exploring new methodologies, with one person commenting, “This is how one frees one’s imagination with ChatGPT.”

Not all of the AI collaboration literature gets recognition; there are cases where works co-authored by ChatGPT appear on Amazon’s self-publishing service and are criticized for their poor quality. Famed British author Salman Rushdie expressed his skepticism about AI writing at a conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair when an attempt to emulate his style resulted in what he called “absolute nonsense,” drawing laughter from the audience.

The emergence of such technology also creates a host of legal challenges, prompting several prominent authors, including John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, and Game of Thrones author George RR Martin, to initiate a lawsuit against OpenAI, the brains behind ChatGPT. Together with the Authors Guild, they claimed that their work was used “unlawfully” to develop ChatGPT’s advanced text generation algorithms, according to the lawsuit.

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