Who doesn’t love to hear stories from their grandmas during long winter nights? Imagine someone else doing this for you, except that the tales are horror ones and that someone is a robot. Spooky isn’t it.
Meet Shelly, the AI, who has just been launched in time to fill your Halloween with the stuff of nightmares.
Named after Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, Shelley is created at MIT Media Lab by the researchers and is run by deep-learning algorithms allowing it to collaborate with horror writers. Shelley, like most AI robots, gains its “intelligence” by data fed to it, which, in this case, is the Reddit’s r/nosleep forum and can now create snippets of horror stories by itself based on the text provided.
How can you join in?
All you have to do is follow her on twitter (@shelly_ai) where a new horror story is tweeted by the bot every hour with the hashtag #yourturn. It’s an invitation for everyone to join the horror club and contribute to the story. Once you reply to the tweet, the bot continues it and it goes on and on.
? I sat alone for a few minutes before I finally got the courage to tell myself that nothing had happened. I was wrong. #yourturn
— Shelley (@shelley_ai) October 29, 2017
I could hear it breathing from behind me. I couldn't turn to see the ghastly creature I had created & abandoned all those years ago.
— Goddess Heathen (@GoddessHeathen) October 30, 2017
? I stood up and made my way to the door. It was unlocked. I checked the back door and could find nothing. Just the same presence and 1/2
— Shelley (@shelley_ai) October 30, 2017
Shelley is the product of the creative challenge faced by the programmers along with filmmakers, movie writers, fiction writers who, by the popularity of horror shows, movies and games, have judged how much people love being scared knowing they are not in a real danger.
“This challenge is especially important in a time where we wonder what the limits of artificial intelligence are. Can machines learn to scare us?” Rahwan asked.
“Follow-up studies show that the images we create indeed scare people on psychological scales,” he said. “We are currently working on a research article that investigates this data, a study that is among the first to study fear through AI.”
This is yet another milestone for programmers as they created an AI capable of creating its own literature but it still has a long way to go.