Bay Area: Join us 8/8 to discuss writing a novel with machine learning

Enlarge / Robin Sloan likes to play with robots in fiction and real life. He also makes his own olive oil.

Robin Sloan writes about machine learning, but he’s writing with it, too. His 2017 novel Sourdough has been hailed as one of the best and most accurate novels about machine learning ever published. In the wake of that book, Robin also built a little bot that will help you write science fiction by autocompleting your sentences with phrases taken from a massive corpus of sci-fi stories.

At the next Ars Technica Live, we’ll be talking to Robin about the reality and fantasy of machine learning, as well as what it means to write in the age of bots. Join Ars Technica’s editor-at-large Annalee Newitz and senior editor Cyrus Farivar in conversation with Robin on August 8 at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland. There will be plenty of time for audience questions, too. Doors open at 7pm, and the event starts at 7:30. Tickets are free.

Robin is the author of the novels Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, a New York Times bestseller published in 2012, and Sourdough. He has been doing experiments that use machine learning to auto-generate sentences for sci-fi stories, and he’s pretty sure that the audiobook for his second novel is the world’s first to include sound generated by a neural network. Previously he worked at the Poynter Institute, Current TV, and Twitter, where he worked on projects about the future of media.

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