Experiments in Human and AI Artistry

This is a mixed-genre book ranging from sci-fi short stories to poetry to food and beverage recipes to essays and debates.

The main hook, though, is that half of the material is written by humans, and half by AI. The names are removed and placed at the back of the book in an answer key. Readers have to guess — if they can! — which stories, poems, recipes etc. are penned by humans, and which by AI. Also, see if AI can convincingly imitate human art.

If a story was written by an AI instead of a human artist… could you tell?

Could you tell the difference between a poem penned by a person versus one crafted by a computer?

Prove it.

Man Versus Machine is among the first experiments offering an answer to these questions for those curious.

Join an array of artists, amateur and professional, who desire to test their skills against the emerging powers of artificial intelligence. AI models like ChatGPT and Google Bard are entering the collective consciousness, spawning countless media articles and conversations. How do they stack up against their human counterparts when it comes to expressions of the written word?

Excited to try a recipe whipped up by an AI, even though it doesn't have a sense of taste? You can, and even compare it to a treasured family recipe passed down through the generations.

Poetry, short fiction, song lyrics, brief debates, an examination of AI-generated news articles and more can be found within this volume for those who dare. Regarding each work, the author's name has been removed and placed in an answer key at the rear of the book to make things more interesting.

Press on, don your detective cap, and enjoy this spirited contest between flesh and circuitry.

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Excerpt from Man Versus Machine © Copyright 2023 Nicholas Morine et al.

The Embrace of Shadows

Morgana's eyes glistened beneath the moon's gaze, her allure as dark as the shadowed depths of Camelot's corners. She turned her gaze to Edmund, a knight of the Round Table, his loyalty to King Arthur as evident as the moon in the night sky.

“Edmund,” she whispered, her voice silken against the rustle of leaves. “Why do you keep a distance when your heart yearns to be close?”

Edmund averted his gaze, attempting to hide the turmoil within his chest. “I am a knight, Morgana,” he replied, his voice gruff. “Sworn to serve Arthur, not to indulge in whims of the heart.”

Her laughter, melodious yet haunting, echoed around them. “And what if your heart commands you to serve differently?” she questioned, her hand reaching to caress his armored cheek. His eyes betrayed him, revealing the conflict that raged within him. He was a knight, yes, but a man first.

In the battlefields that stretched beyond Camelot's walls, Edmund fought with a new fervor. Every thrust of his blade, every dodge of his opponent's attack, was not for the glory of King Arthur, but for the love that was blossoming within his heart. The passion that consumed him reflected in his battles, his fury and might turning him into a formidable foe.

His adversaries fell one by one, their defeat echoing his inner turmoil. “For the love that dare not speak its name,” he muttered under his breath, driving his sword deeper into the enemy lines. The battlefield turned into a stage for his internal conflict, his loyalty clashing with his newfound passion, painting a grisly tableau of love and betrayal.

One evening, under the star-studded sky, their secret was sealed with a kiss. Morgana’s eyes shimmered with unshed tears as she pulled away, her voice trembling. “We tread a dangerous path, Edmund.”

“I know,” he admitted, his voice barely a whisper. His hand found hers, their fingers intertwining. “But it's a path I'm willing to tread, for you.”

Edmund found himself walking on a perilous line, his nights filled with clandestine meetings and his days consumed by bloody battles. Every stolen moment with Morgana was a sweet poison, the taste of betrayal bitter on his tongue but the exhilaration far too intoxicating to resist.

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