Probably the software was bought by Hollywood....
... and kept secret since then.
It would explain a lot of movie scripts....
Next time IBM tries to convince you that Watson is the latest and greatest innovation that couldn't possibly have been done any time other than now, know that Big Blue tried to get a computer writing short stories in the 1960s. The existence of IBM's old work has been re-discovered by James Ryan of the University of California …
There's more to this story than meets the eye,
It starts telling us about a Lion who has had to endure severe hardship only to suffer the true indignation of being robbed by a dog. There is now a montage where the Lion becomes a hero and the dog who we now find out is actually a serial robber mysteriously dies. The Lion takes credit for this. The Lion, now victorious retrieves his heroin from where the Dog hid it to go back to his severe hardship of being a junky Lion.
Up next week a Mouse pulls a syringe from the Lions paw.
c.f. WayForward Technologies. Though Dirk Gently was a generation on in the 1980s, and they had apple macs.
That's be Wayforward Technologies II - Wayforward Technologies built
computers door stops and draft excluders that looked like computers (most notably Quark II) - naming kind of familiar?
IIRC a little note about a script generator appears in the first 2 volumes of DE Knuth's "Art of Computer Programming."
Definitely pre 1971.
I think it was a scene from a Western
Keep in mind all adventure games are (essentially) user directed stories with the collection of artifiacts and capabilities triggering the (potential) ability to change to the state of what is in effect a giant FSM.
Over the years "Archeological programming" has found that people were dealing with idea at a far early date than people might expect them to be being attempted given the (in hindsight) very limited computing power available. ELIZA was a p**s take of the idea of automated therapy, but there really was a "psychiatrist computer program" under development in the late 60''s (it was a big driver for much of Schenk's work on "scripts" and "Speech acts.")
"IIRC a little note about a script generator appears in the first 2 volumes of DE Knuth's "Art of Computer Programming."
Definitely pre 1971"
In 1965 there was a program on the Dartmouth Timesharing System that produced never ending pornography. There were checks for proper sexes to do whatever etc. Lots of 4-letter words.
This program was actually quite useful because in the early days output destined for one TTY would sometimes end up on another TTY due to a programming bug. We tried putting out messages like "if you see this contact the computer people" but they never did. Running this program they always called immediately.
Some Hollywood company had a "plot generator" that worked a little like this, without a computer.
I've read about several similar attempts to this since. Most of the output is useless, but some variations can be used by a real writer to develop a real story.
The number of plausible variations output is more related to the amount of input than any cleverness in the program. In this case the point is not the "output" but the achievement of getting it to work at all.
Which I will find sometime later. Back from the '50s or '60s.
Basic thesis is that genre fiction is stereotyped, and selecting among the variations will generate something as good as the hack writers output, at lower cost. Consequence is starving writers with starving families.
There's another: The Silver Eggheads (1979) by Fritz Leiber. There, humans serve as the plot generators, which are then fleshed out by computers/wordmills into something called "wordwooze" which was the human populace's chief entertainment. It was a desperate time indeed when the 'writers' rebelled and destroyed the wordmills, for none of the humans were really competent at writing. Fortunately, Zane Gort (a robot who wrote stories for other robots) was able to help out. His robot pronography was ... interesting. Pray you do not fall into the hands of Dr. Tungsten.
I remember writing a little script to make megahal chat in a P2P network chat room about 2 decades ago...
It was really funny see all the users chatting with it. We admins kew what it was, but other users really had the most interesting conversations with it.
Some people got angry with it, suspecting a troll.
Downside was that after a few weeks the bayesian database got so big that I had to restart it periodically to avoid stalling my work station.
I once fed The Book of Mormon and several other such texts through GNU emacs meta-x dissociated press.
"If inside the queen I was connectoring her" was one such gem of wisdom; "But I wife, young woman stood tietarybod some on my neck, so it seemed thadn't seen he's love until I ducked.
"I can to steal something parts obviously not!""
was yet another. It is my settled conviction that Hollywood would benefit from the wholesale replacement of scriptwriters by travesty generators; they've already taken over politics ...
In closing let me point some things out to any politician who may be reading my humble words:
"I had probably been the floodgates that I do not always leaving his daught you had the too!!!
Leaving her eyes. I himself dry and girl she was too vable. Or a summer sun Ocean plate, alsome of those shopen and went outside and cur piece, mightime was far as fire and that you broke damnedest which have ent doo!!!"
He'd also need a prequel and a sequel to fully tell the story, then another set of films from Dogs perspective. Oh and the "Making Of" documentaries (to be sold separately) - In total about 10 films (excluding "Directors Cuts"), should keep him busy for the next decade or so
My current toilet reading is a compilation of Grimms' fairy tales and I have to say they are utterly rubbish. There is a modicum of narrative arc in some of them but it is often a series of random events which happen to the same person (usually royalty).
The Lion story would certainly be in the top half!
Dr Christopher Evans was a popular writer on science and technology topics in the 1960s who also appeared on TV. His "real" job was at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington researching the "man/machine interface". I was a guinea pig on a programme assessing whether "arts graduates" (ie me) would ever be able to use a computer. But one of the things he showed me that really captured my imagination was a science fiction short story generator. In effect all the stories had a similar structure and all that was happening is that at various points there were collection of words that could be randomly inserted. To my young eyes this was so novel and exciting that I never asked him whether he had invented to story generator or had borrowed the idea. And no, I can't remember what computer the program was running on...
Kinda the point of his "all the stories were boring". In general I think its not so much the plot as the writing around it that makes the thing work.
Although I can think of one author who I've given up reading because every book seemed to have so similar a plot it was getting to me. I shan't name, because if other people haven't found it irritating, but might if it were pointed out, then I'd be guilty of taking away their enjoyment .
"Although I can think of one author who I've given up reading because every book seemed to have so similar a plot it was getting to me."
Leslie Thomas's novels sometimes seemed like that. He had a set of possibly real life experiences that he wove into the plots. After a few novels he appeared to start doing location "research" to add the colour to a new novel. He also started to re-use some of the previous set pieces with slight alterations - and the pocket novels started to become large tomes.
Simon Raven also mined his life experiences for all of his novels and series. It is said that later on he produced a new novel whenever he needed to finance his continuing hedonistic lifestyle. The novels became stranger and stranger - but managed to stay entertaining. It was said that he wanted to see just how far his loyal readers could be pushed. His autobiography was criticised by a reviewer as "the filthiest cricket book ever written" - whereupon he requested the use of that comment for the back cover blurb.
When once I was but a strapping young lad; The English department at my school asked if someone in the CS class could write a poetry generator in this case Haiku's. Running on trs-80's written in basic; but I finally got the damned thing working. It was weird to see the various English classes roll through the CS 'lab' using the software I wrote; But it was the event that then shaped the rest of my career :)
Also the is a Ruby based IRC bot that generates movie plots
Summary: He's an immortal zombie househusband who dotes on his loving old ma. She's a Cosmopolitan antique-collecting socialite from a family of eight older brothers. They fight crime.
Back in 1965 I was programming (as we called it then) a KDF-8 (RCA-501?) for Schweppes in London. (This was proper coding -- octal machine code, no assembler, no compiler, no operating system.) The KDF-8 filled a large room and was less powerful than my phone.
Anyway, 1965 saw the publication of a great comic novel titled "The Tin Men" by the brilliant British author and playwright Michael Frayne. It was -- and is -- as funny as hell and, yes, the software was particularly good at pornography for all the reasons suggested in the comments above. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tin_Men.) Remarkably, it's still in print: www.amazon.co.uk/Tin-Men-Michael-Frayn/dp/0571212662.
About the same, but with slight changes:
IBM (LION) HAS BEEN IN TROUBLE FOR A LONG TIME. ENGINEERS (TREATED LIKE DOGS) MAKE NEW PRODUCTS BUT COST TOO MUCH. THE HERO, LION, MANIPULATES CONGRESS USING CASH, WHORES, AND BLOW TO OPTIMIZE H-1B VISA AND TAX POLICIES TO LION'S ADVANTAGE. THE HERO, LION, KILLS THE VILLAIN, DOG, WITHOUT A FIGHT. THE HERO, LION, THUS IS ABLE TO OUTSOURCE AND/OR MAKE DOG REDUNDANT. THIS MAKES WALL STREET HAPPY, AND THE HERO, LION, CASHES OUT OPTIONS. NOW THE HERO, LION, CAN AFFORD HIS OWN WHORES AND BLOW. THE VILLAIN, DOG, LIVES OUT IN THE COLD.
Such wonderful progress!!
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