Google opens up a world of Wordcraft, using AI inspiration for writers



What do you want to know

  • Google talks about its writer’s workshop with its AI-powered co-writing tool, Wordcraft.
  • 13 writers experimented with Wordcraft for eight weeks before giving their opinion.
  • Wordcraft helps creative writers by offering its own approach to completing a thought, or it can even rewrite a sentence for you.
  • The program also struggles to maintain a writing style and narrative voice.

Google is testing its Wordcraft AI co-writing tool with professional writers to gather authentic feedback.

Google Explain the Wordcraft Writers Workshop on its website, detailing how 13 writers tested the AI ​​software tool over eight weeks at Google People + AI Research (PAIR). Wordcraft is an AI-based writing aid powered by Google’s Advanced Language Models, LaMDA, that helps you move forward with your writing and can even write things for you when the fog sets in.

As you write, LaMDA-powered Wordcraft works behind the scenes to offer suggestions whenever you need them, like “rewrite this sentence.” Once selected, the program will offer suggestions on how they might rewrite a piece of text. Think of it as a superpowered grammar. Users can also get more descriptive saying they want something more fun, and the app will try to do that for them if they’re having trouble.

According to Google, the workshop writers liked how open Wordcraft is, in the sense that they could just throw in a single piece of “seed text” (an idea), and the tool would generate story ideas. crazy enough to maybe work.

Wordcraft powered by Google's AI offering suggestions to a writer.

(Image credit: Google)

Writers can also ask Wordcraft to rewrite, elaborate, or continue what they were already writing. For those looking to brainstorm, Wordcraft has a feature called “freeform prompt”, where a user can ask the app to do a simple task like describe an object for them or ask it to complete a thought for them like, “why X do Y?”

While Wordcraft might seem like this magic tool of thought, a way to break writer’s block, it’s not quite perfect. When the workshop writers concluded the tests, they all agreed on a similar fact: Wordcraft’s AI struggles to maintain a specific writing style and narrative voice.

A typical scenario that you tend to avoid when writing is using cliches that Wordcraft seems to lean towards too often. There’s also the problem of the AI ​​sometimes hallucinating, allowing it to create things to add to a story that just doesn’t make sense. Google explains this is because, unlike humans, AI programs simply don’t know the world around them and how things (ideally) work.

As Google explains, it also struggles with its design of accepting input and using it. The model lacks “distinctive and consistent opinions and style”. Through testing, a writer also discovered that Wordcraft struggled to generate a storyline where someone was doing something mean or hurtful.

At the end of the test period, Google discovered that all writers agreed that Wordcraft wouldn’t be replacing writers anytime soon (phew!). Some questions also arise about the implications that a model like Wordcraft might have in the world of creative writing, especially for newcomers to the craft.

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