To continue with my GPT-3 Explorations, I built an interactive storyteller powered by GPT-3 over the 2021-2022 holiday week. My goal with this was to be able to write stories on the fly without intricate preparation and write as fast as I could read.

Here's an example GIF of the storyteller in use. I didn't edit and steer as much as I normally would—to try to make a good story—this GIF is just to demonstrate the overall iteration speed.:
Operation Jackpot

I achieve this by feeding GPT-3 different selected context:

  • The overall theme of the document
  • The critical plot beats of the chapter
  • A good chunk of the text of the document Each generation round adds a few sentences, and I selectively edit, delete, steer, and shape to keep the story moving. In just a short afternoon, I wrote a few thousand words.

At the end of my holiday break, I wrote a one-shot fanfic and posted it to AO3. It's done well, garnered kudos and comments, and nobody suspected it was 90% AI and 10% human steering. I still get emails about new comments and kudos. It passed a storytelling Turing test of sorts! Yes, I screened it extensively to make sure that GPT-3 didn't unintentionally plagiarize—it didn't.

While I think it's great for one-shots, I don't believe that GPT-3 will replace human authors any time soon. It makes several basic mistakes: It repeats itself, forgets or mixes up details of characters or settings, and isn't great at advancing the plot. Most of the story comes from my steering, and GPT-3 helped fill in interesting blanks.

Still, it's an exciting writing partner. I'll probably publish some long-form story written with this tool one day.