The reading abyss: narrative in times of Artificial Intelligence

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

If orality constructed the myth and the listener, and the press produced the novel and the interpreter, this paper aims to discuss how digital tools based on the properties of Artificial Intelligence combined with narrative strategies will form simulations and transform the reader into a co-author. 

I do not believe that the narrative of linear reading is going to disappear or that the book on paper is in the process of extinction, I believe that digital support, and sociocultural changes that entails, can lead to the formation of new literary genres and new creative and reading processes. 

Digital support is creating a paradigm shift not only because content can be distributed in a fast way or because it allows us to communicate more effectively, beyond the ontological transformations that are being generated, but because people are striving, every day more, to link the digital reality with the tangible reality. Hence the true success of social networks. I think that the narrative, the immersive genre par excellence, is not far behind and a new current is brewing that seeks that the character live what the user is doing to create an equation of realities. Like J.G. Ballard said, in the prologue to Crash,, "We live in a novel. It is increasingly necessary for man to invent a fictional content. Fiction is already there. The writer's task is to invent reality "(Ballard, 1996: 12). 

How to invent reality? Or rather, how to generate elements that allow us to manipulate the user to replace his experiential awareness with simulated experiences? This is the basis of my PHD thesis, the transformations that entails the possibility of generating alternative realities from the linking of narratives and digital appropriation in electronic literature. 

To demonstrate it, in simile Jacques Attali in Brief history of the future, I will explain the transformations of reading from different supports, from orality to arrive at Artificial Intelligence from two elements: The relation of the support, that is to say the medium McLuhiano as a message builder: the dialogue in orality, personal reading with writing, interpretation from the printed text, multimedia reading with digital support and reading abyss from artificial intelligence. As well as the transformation of the receiver that entails creative implications as each support constructs its own narrative genres and transforms the link between the receiver and the message. 

I would like to clarify that the topic of this research is not about the constant topic of whether we inhabit a simulated reality (The Matrix, Wachowski Bros, 1999 or “Are you living in a computer simulation”, Nick Bostrom, 2002) but about the possibilities offered by the digital narratives to create simulated experiences that increase or modify our reality from the conjunction between narrative structures and adaptive systems constituted by Artificial Intelligence.

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Jana Jankovska