Probably the software was bought by Hollywood....
... and kept secret since then.
It would explain a lot of movie scripts....
Next time IBM tries to convince you that Watson is the latest and greatest innovation that couldn't possibly have been done any time other than now, know that Big Blue tried to get a computer writing short stories in the 1960s. The existence of IBM's old work has been re-discovered by James Ryan of the University of California …
There's more to this story than meets the eye,
It starts telling us about a Lion who has had to endure severe hardship only to suffer the true indignation of being robbed by a dog. There is now a montage where the Lion becomes a hero and the dog who we now find out is actually a serial robber mysteriously dies. The Lion takes credit for this. The Lion, now victorious retrieves his heroin from where the Dog hid it to go back to his severe hardship of being a junky Lion.
Up next week a Mouse pulls a syringe from the Lions paw.
c.f. WayForward Technologies. Though Dirk Gently was a generation on in the 1980s, and they had apple macs.
That's be Wayforward Technologies II - Wayforward Technologies built
computers door stops and draft excluders that looked like computers (most notably Quark II) - naming kind of familiar?
IIRC a little note about a script generator appears in the first 2 volumes of DE Knuth's "Art of Computer Programming."
Definitely pre 1971.
I think it was a scene from a Western
Keep in mind all adventure games are (essentially) user directed stories with the collection of artifiacts and capabilities triggering the (potential) ability to change to the state of what is in effect a giant FSM.
Over the years "Archeological programming" has found that people were dealing with idea at a far early date than people might expect them to be being attempted given the (in hindsight) very limited computing power available. ELIZA was a p**s take of the idea of automated therapy, but there really was a "psychiatrist computer program" under development in the late 60''s (it was a big driver for much of Schenk's work on "scripts" and "Speech acts.")
"IIRC a little note about a script generator appears in the first 2 volumes of DE Knuth's "Art of Computer Programming."
Definitely pre 1971"
In 1965 there was a program on the Dartmouth Timesharing System that produced never ending pornography. There were checks for proper sexes to do whatever etc. Lots of 4-letter words.
This program was actually quite useful because in the early days output destined for one TTY would sometimes end up on another TTY due to a programming bug. We tried putting out messages like "if you see this contact the computer people" but they never did. Running this program they always called immediately.
Some Hollywood company had a "plot generator" that worked a little like this, without a computer.
I've read about several similar attempts to this since. Most of the output is useless, but some variations can be used by a real writer to develop a real story.
The number of plausible variations output is more related to the amount of input than any cleverness in the program. In this case the point is not the "output" but the achievement of getting it to work at all.
Which I will find sometime later. Back from the '50s or '60s.
Basic thesis is that genre fiction is stereotyped, and selecting among the variations will generate something as good as the hack writers output, at lower cost. Consequence is starving writers with starving families.
There's another: The Silver Eggheads (1979) by Fritz Leiber. There, humans serve as the plot generators, which are then fleshed out by computers/wordmills into something called "wordwooze" which was the human populace's chief entertainment. It was a desperate time indeed when the 'writers' rebelled and destroyed the wordmills, for none of the humans were really competent at writing. Fortunately, Zane Gort (a robot who wrote stories for other robots) was able to help out. His robot pronography was ... interesting. Pray you do not fall into the hands of Dr. Tungsten.
I remember writing a little script to make megahal chat in a P2P network chat room about 2 decades ago...
It was really funny see all the users chatting with it. We admins kew what it was, but other users really had the most interesting conversations with it.
Some people got angry with it, suspecting a troll.
Downside was that after a few weeks the bayesian database got so big that I had to restart it periodically to avoid stalling my work station.
I once fed The Book of Mormon and several other such texts through GNU emacs meta-x dissociated press.
"If inside the queen I was connectoring her" was one such gem of wisdom; "But I wife, young woman stood tietarybod some on my neck, so it seemed thadn't seen he's love until I ducked.
"I can to steal something parts obviously not!""
was yet another. It is my settled conviction that Hollywood would benefit from the wholesale replacement of scriptwriters by travesty generators; they've already taken over politics ...
In closing let me point some things out to any politician who may be reading my humble words:
"I had probably been the floodgates that I do not always leaving his daught you had the too!!!
Leaving her eyes. I himself dry and girl she was too vable. Or a summer sun Ocean plate, alsome of those shopen and went outside and cur piece, mightime was far as fire and that you broke damnedest which have ent doo!!!"
He'd also need a prequel and a sequel to fully tell the story, then another set of films from Dogs perspective. Oh and the "Making Of" documentaries (to be sold separately) - In total about 10 films (excluding "Directors Cuts"), should keep him busy for the next decade or so
My current toilet reading is a compilation of Grimms' fairy tales and I have to say they are utterly rubbish. There is a modicum of narrative arc in some of them but it is often a series of random events which happen to the same person (usually royalty).
The Lion story would certainly be in the top half!
Dr Christopher Evans was a popular writer on science and technology topics in the 1960s who also appeared on TV. His "real" job was at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington researching the "man/machine interface". I was a guinea pig on a programme assessing whether "arts graduates" (ie me) would ever be able to use a computer. But one of the things he showed me that really captured my imagination was a science fiction short story generator. In effect all the stories had a similar structure and all that was happening is that at various points there were collection of words that could be randomly inserted. To my young eyes this was so novel and exciting that I never asked him whether he had invented to story generator or had borrowed the idea. And no, I can't remember what computer the program was running on...
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