You don’t have to be as good as Shakespeare, nor must you create grandly creative stories. You need only be better than a parrot.
Might I suggest that we underestimate the intellectual effort that goes into writing a story? Let’s think about the matter by speculating about the algorithms used by the human and the AI:
The human establishes a theme, how that theme might be expressed through a conflict, creates a protagonist and an antagonist to carry out that conflict, then figures out an introduction to the characters, how the conflict slowly develops, reaches a crisis, a resolution, and a denouement. Think about that process; consider the intellectual energy that must be brought to bear on these issues.
The computer scans a vast array of text looking for tags matching the components of the prompt and assembles its findings in no particular order. It could easily have Darth Vader slice Luke Skywalker in half at the outset, then have Luke at the farm pining for adventure while Leia runs through the Death Star, before concluding with Han Solo shooting C3PO at the bar.
Do not underestimate the complexity of our stories. Here’s a standard routine I often use in my lectures:
Here are two stories:
Itsy bitsy spider crawled up the gutter spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain.
And the itsy bitsy spider crawled up the spout again.
This is a complete story in just four sentences. It has a protagonist, an antagonist, a crisis, a satisfying ending, and even an edifying moral lesson. Any five year old child can understand and appreciate this story.
[aside: one of my greatest regrets is that I did not use this routine in my invited lecture at the Sydney Opera House, thereby depriving myself of the opportunity to rightly boast that I had sung by invitation at the Sydney Opera House.]
Story #2: Once upon a time there was a handsome young prince who lived in a shining castle atop a hill. One day he leapt atop his snow-white charger, galloped across the cobblestones in the courtyard, out the drawbridge, and down into the valley, where they fell into a hole and they both died.
Any five year old child can recognize that this is NOT a valid story.
Challenge: design an algorithm capable of determining which of these two stories is valid and which is not.