ITA 320 / COM 378

Cybernetics, Literary Ghosts and the Italian Way

Giovanni Riotta

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“Will we have a machine capable of replacing the poet and the author?” asked Italo Calvino in 1967, hopeful that computers would write “the literature.” In 1962 poet Nanni Balestrini instructed a computer to write a poem eager to hear “the voice of the machine.” Rough novels and 200,000 non-fiction books have already been written through algorithms and a literary novel is expected soon. Can we instruct a computer to write a novel? Should we use an algorithm or machine learning? Students will create with their own writing experiment analyzing the “Wiki” tradition of collective writing, the Bible, Homer up to the bizarre Slender Man saga.

View this course on the Registrar’s website.

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