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I Asked an AI Content Writer To Rewrite ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’

by Sandi Parsons 5 months ago in artificial intelligence
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Artificial Intelligence won’t scoop up the fiction awards anytime soon

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

AI content writers are heralded as the next best thing (primarily by tech companies selling AI content writing tech). They have already taken over some jobs from humans like copywriting due to only needing minimal input. There's nothing like bragging about your strengths. Even the AI conversion from "AI's are heralded to be the next best thing for writing" worked overtime at selling its services.

Has your writing been suffering from a lack of inspiration? Are you sick and tired of typing up the same old articles over again for work or just because it is what one does when there are not enough hours in a day but still need content on their blog or website to keep readers interested? Well, look no further than these AI writers!

But what about creative writing? Are AI content writers any good at crafting stories?

Rewriting 'Jack and the Beanstalk'

Here are the plot points from Jack and the Beanstalk that I entered into a nifty AI content writer.

  • Jack and his mother are poor and starving. 
  • Jack trades the family cow for six magic beans.
  • The beans grow into a beanstalk that reaches the clouds.
  • Jack climbs the beanstalk and finds a giant who likes the taste of little boys.
  • The giant sniffs out Jack and says, "Fee, fie, fo, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman! Be he alive, or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread."
  • Jack outwits the giant and steals a sack of golden coins.
  • Jack steals a goose that lays golden eggs.
  • Jack steals a singing harp that betrays him.
  • The giant attempts to follow Jack down the beanstalk.
  • Reaching the bottom of the beanstalk first, Jack chops it down, and the giant falls to his death.
  • Jack and his mother live happily ever after.

Note: the generated content is individualized each time, so you may get a totally different story even if you use the same prompts.

Jack and the Beanstalk, AI style

Jack had been working on the family farm all his life. His father was a farmer, and he wanted Jack to be a farmer. But Jack's heart wasn't in it. He spent most of his time daydreaming about adventures, far away from home, and not dealing with the tedium of everyday farming.

Jack was a great thief. He had stolen many things, but none more valuable than the singing harp. The old instrument always sang when someone played it, Jack loved music, but he didn't want to hurt anyone with his theft. But Jack did want the gorgeous singing harp for himself.

Stealing musical instruments was enjoyable and much easier to carry around than large objects like lamps or statues that people often left outside their homes unguarded during the day.

One day while out gathering hay, Jack saw an old man by the side of the road selling six magic beans for a dollar each - and that's how rich people get richer! All you have to do is plant one bean at night, water it every day for five days straight, then watch your money grow! And that sounded way better than being stuck on this stupid farm forever.

Jack was pulling up weeds in the back of his house when he heard a rustling noise.

Jack turned to see what it might be and found himself face-to-face with an enormous, green giant. He saw her pick up a rock and throw it down with all her might, its thunderous clap echoing through the valley. A ring of gold coins appeared at her feet like magic before he picked them up greedily and plodded off. Jack watched carefully as his heart beat faster.

"Fee, fie, fo, fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman! Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread!" the creature bellowed.

Jack barely had time to register shock before the giant snatched him up in one hand like a doll and licked his cheek with her long tongue.

The giant's feet pounded on the ground, her breath labored. When they reached the beanstalk, Jack wriggled free and started to climb. The giant picked up speed, trying to keep pace with him, but couldn't find a way past all of these pesky obstacles in his way - trees, rocks, bushes. She lunged at one particularly unyielding branch that was blocking his path down the forested hillside and swung wildly until it broke off in his hands. That would do just fine! Swinging this stick like an ax handle, he carved a new pathway through the heavy brush below him.

In a flurry of emotions and anger, the giant must find a way to get back down the beanstalk. The only problem is that he doesn't have his hat, which had blown off from when Jack's cow kicked it off earlier. He begins to search around for his hat while also trying not to be seen by any of the little people with their pitchforks. It seems like he will never find it, but he finally finds it! There's just one problem; there's an ugly witch who snatched up his hat and ran away with her broomstick.

The giant had been in a deep sleep, but after hearing the sound of Jack's ax chopping away at his beanstalk, he woke up and saw him. "You'll never get out!" said the giant angrily. 

They grabbed for Jack with one hand while trying to get back on their feet using the other - but were still too dizzy from climbing down so quickly. The giant lost balance just as Jack finished chopping it off though, and fell to their death with a great thud that shook the ground below their feet.

Today, Jack is having a great day. He's been making friends with the animals who live on his farm, and he was able to catch one of those pesky geese that has been laying eggs around town. The goose is lying at his feet as he sits atop the wooden fence staring across the field. His mother walks up behind him and gives him a big hug from behind before lovingly kissing his cheek.

"That was very nice of you to do for us." His mother says as she pulls away from her son and looks down at the bird, then back up to meet her son's gaze, "You want me to fry it up?"

That's a hard no for any literary awards

While there are many entertaining moments in the story and some well-crafted one-liners (the one about stealing musical instruments because they are easier to carry around was my favorite), but when viewed as a whole, the generated story is a little disjointed and has more than a few errors.

  • The giant seems to be transgender. They start as a she-giant, morph into a he-giant mid-story (mid-sentence in fact), and at the end, their pronoun preference was their/them.
  • One moment we're up the beanstalk with Jack while the giant chases him; the next, the giant is busy dealing with pesky objects like rocks and trees on the hillside (that's fancy magic beanstalk geography, I think). 
  • Tense change, anyone? 
  • The giant can't go down the beanstalk without his hat (Jack's cow kicked it off earlier, apparently). There's a group of unknown people with pitchforks, but alas, as the giant finds his hat, a witch (an ugly one to boot) on a broomstick whisks off with it. Neither the little people with pitchforks nor the witch is ever seen again. I hate loose ends!
  • Despite all this hat drama and loose ends, the giant immediately falls into a deep sleep. 
  • Poor goose - there's no happily ever after for our feathered friend.

So if the Nobel Prize in Literature is out, are AI content writers useful in fiction?

For fiction writing, an AI content writer may be helpful if you are stuck on a plot point or need some help solving a situation - or perhaps even to generate a random idea. They could even help you polish up a clunky sentence that isn't quite right. But an AI content writer's usefulness for crafting an entire story based on inputting plot points is questionable.

I can't see AI content writers taking the literary world by storm anytime soon. I think our careers as fiction writers are safe for now!

An AI content writers take on my last sentence - which is more of a response than a rewrite:

For now, at least.

The good news is that I am still in my chair, and it looks like we're going to be here writing more books after all! Why? Because the very idea that I could be writing about anything other than my own life is preposterous!

~~~

Sandi's new you-beaut AI content generator biography:

If you're looking for a story, Sandi Parsons is your woman. She's spent her life helping people find their stories through books and the written word.

Sandi loves to share her favorite stories with anyone who will listen or read them! Her two problem puppies are always happy to lend an ear in case they get tired of listening to her ramble about her favorite books.

artificial intelligence

About the author

Sandi Parsons

Sandi Parsons lives and breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller. Subscribe to my newsletter & receive my free ebook The Last Walk → https://bit.ly/3cGvsPB

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