Developer Liam Swayne used ChatGPT to complete George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones book series. The result is childish doggerel that makes Season 8 of the TV show appear to be a work of genius by comparison.
Swayne’s chatbot experiment confirms that writers, especially those working in long-form storytelling, currently have very little to fear from generative AI.
Faster isn’t better
It is now 12 years since the publication of the last book in the Game of Thrones series. Martin is a notoriously slow writer, and while the author continues to wrestle with the penultimate novel in the series, Game of Thrones fans are increasingly impatient.
What then, if ChatGPT could be used to speed up the writing process?
Working on his own initiative, independent developer Liam Swayne set to find out if ChatGPT could fill the gap left by Martin’s protracted creative process. Swayne prompted the AI to complete the final two novels in the series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
Swayne was honest in his assessment of the final work, pointing out that human authors have little to fear from chatbots.
“Large language models can be very scary, but this project makes me more optimistic about the future of writers and AI,” Swayne told IGN on Wednesday. “It also shows that AI can only do what has been done many times before. This project has given me confidence that AI won’t be replacing unique literary works any time soon.”
Swayne also paid tribute to Martin and his unpredictable storylines and plot twists, acknowledging that AI tends to struggle in this regard.
“To my surprise, I’m more confident than before starting this project that writers making creative and unexpected decisions are not replaceable,” added Swayne.
Prompting isn’t easy
Chatbots including ChatGPT are touted as a means to save time and energy, making humans more efficient and cost-effective.
Completely a writing task as sizeable as one of George R.R. Martin’s novels is still a major undertaking, even if only prompting an AI to do the heavy lifting.
Swayne first had to prompt the chatbot to write chapter outlines, 45 in total. The developer then fed the outlines back into the chatbot and asked it to expand on them. He repeated the process until the entire two books were completed.
In total Swayne prompted the chatbot 10,000 times before the two novels were complete. The final word count for the two books comes in at 1,273,786.
Judging by GitHub commits the process took Swayne around a month to complete. Nowhere near as long as the 12 years Martin has spent on the real book, but still a significant amount of time.
Swayne’s dedication to the experiment is admirable, even if the chatbot’s output is not.
ChatGPT’s ‘Game of Thrones’ is idiotic
ChatGPT’s take on Game of Thrones is abominable. The chatbot’s attempt to complete Martin’s work is the apotheosis of moronic, cliché-ridden nonsense.
It is repetitive, trite, feeble, dull, and stuffed with overly florid prose. Its metaphors are at once awkward, strained, and turgid.
The ChatGPT books are not uniformly bad, however. In its brightest moments, ChatGPT’s Game of Thrones elevates to become nearly as good as the worst teenage fan fiction.
Let loose on creative storytelling ChatGPT’s word prediction engine excretes a rotten, stinking word salad that is so mind-numbingly stupid it could only plausibly be attributed to a human writer if that individual had suffered multiple serious head traumas.
These books are deeply awful in every possible way. Any novelist previously fearful that AI might one day take their job will undoubtedly find comfort in the following extracts from ChatGPT’s Game of Thrones books.
Character descriptions from ChatGPT’s A Dream of Spring
Catelyn Stark: “Amidst the flickering glow of candlelight, the ethereal figure of Catelyn Stark emerges, her auburn hair cascading in waves down her shoulders. The light dances upon her face, casting a warm, amber glow that accentuates the strength and resilience in her eyes.”
Jaqen H’ghar: “In a chamber veiled in shadows, Arya engages in a conversation with the enigmatic Jaqen H’ghar. The dim light dances upon his face, casting a mosaic of shadow and illumination upon his features.”
Arya Stark: “The light dances upon her features, illuminating the depth of her inner conflict, as she grapples with the moral dilemmas that have become the bedrock of her existence.”
Tyrion Lannister: “The light dances upon Tyrion’s face, accentuating the furrows of conflict etched upon his brow, creating a chiaroscuro of emotions that play across his features.”
Jon Snow: “The light dances upon Jon Snow’s countenance, accentuating the furrowed lines etched upon his brow, symbols of the weight he carries upon his shoulders.”
Varys and Daenerys: “The torchlight dances, casting a flickering glow upon their countenances as Daenerys and Lord Varys engage in a profound exchange.”
Davos and Tyrion: “Seated at a polished wooden table, Tyrion’s eyes, the colour of stormy seas, meet those of his counterpart, Lord Davos Seaworth, a weathered man with a grizzled beard and an air of quiet determination. The flickering candlelight dances across their features, illuminating the subtle play of expressions as they engage in a verbal duel of diplomacy.”
A selected extract from ChatGPT’s The Winds of Winter
Illyrio leaned back, his ample frame sinking into the plush cushions of the chair as if contemplating the intricacies of fate itself. The play of light upon his face, a dance of gold and shadow, accentuated the enigma that surrounded him.
“Ah, the beauty of the future, my dear Tyrion,” he murmured, his voice carrying an undercurrent of intrigue. “It is an ever-changing canvas, shaped by the hands of those who possess the will and the cunning to grasp it. As for the threads, well, they are held by those who can manipulate the tapestry of power. Together, we can weave a destiny that surpasses all imagination.”
Tyrion’s mind raced, the ebb and flow of their conversation weaving a tangled web of possibilities. The room, once a haven of opulence, now felt like a stage where the fate of nations hung in the balance. The hues of candlelight, casting a warm glow upon their faces, mirrored the flickering uncertainties and hidden ambitions that coloured their words.
“Very well,” Tyrion said, his voice steady and resolute. “I shall embrace this storm, this dance of power, and align myself with Daenerys’s cause. But know this, Illyrio, my loyalty is not easily won. I will tread this path with caution and scrutiny, for the tapestry of the future is a fragile thing. Let us ensure that the threads we hold are woven with integrity and righteousness, for the winds of change can be both friend and foe.”
Illyrio’s eyes gleamed with a mixture of admiration and anticipation, his voice a velvety undertone filled with the weight of their newfound alliance.
“Agreed, my dear Tyrion,” he replied, his words echoing through the chamber. “Together, we shall navigate this treacherous sea and shape the course of history. The world awaits our influence, and the tapestry of the future will bear witness to our actions.”
And so, in the flickering glow of the candlelight, their pact was sealed, their destinies intertwined like the threads of a tapestry waiting to be woven.
Want even more laughs?
ChatGPT’s The Winds of Winter (Full book PDF)
ChatGPT’s A Dream of Spring (Full book PDF)