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Japanese award-winning writer says novel was written with use of ChatGPT

By AYIE LICSI Published Jan 28, 2024 3:55 pm

After winning a prestigious literary prize in Japan, writer Rie Kudan told reporters that she utilized AI chatbot ChatGPT for her book Tokyo-to Dojo-to or Sympathy Tower Tokyo.

The 33-year-old novelist won the Akutagawa Prize on Jan. 17 and disclosed about how 5% of her book uses AI generated text.

"The is a novel written by making full use of a generative AI like ChatGPT, and probably about 5% of the whole text is written directly from the generative AI. I would like to work well with them to express my creativity," Kudan said.

Tokyo-to-Dojo-to centers around a society depending on artificial intelligence where an architect faces dilemmas while building a comfortable high-rise prison in Tokyo.

In addition to the novel, Kudan told CNN that she would use ChatGPT for her every day life. "When the AI did not say what I expected, I sometimes reflected my feelings in the lines of the main character," she said.

The use of AI-generated text in the novel sparked controversy online, especially as it won a literary prize. Award-winning writer and prize committee member Keiichiro Hirano said that the use of AI for Kudan's book is not problematic and it's been "misunderstood."

"It seems that the story that Rie Kudan's award-winning work was written using generative AI has been misunderstood and has taken on a life of its own," he wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

"But as you'll understand if you read it, it's about the appearance of AI, and it's not like it's mixed up in a way that you can't tell where it was used in the original text," he added.

With AI software like ChatGPT becoming more popular, some authors like George R.R. Martin, Jonathan Franzen, and Jodi Picoult filed a lawsuit against OpenAI alleging that the popular chatbot is illegally using copyrighted work.