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This AI advised me to read The Hunger Games to survive this ‘cruel world’

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If you’re unimpressed by the book recommendations provided by your tasteless friends, a new AI tool called GPT-3 Books could help revive your joy of reading.

The system is the brainchild of Anurag Ramdasan and Richard Reis. The duo are the co-founders of Most Recommended Books, a repository of reading suggestions from the world’s most influential people, from Bill Gates (215 recommendations) to the Rock (one recommendation: The Art and Making of Rampage, a behind-the-scenes look at a movie chronicling the love between a man and his genetically-engineered gorilla).

Ramdasan said he got the idea while he was building a platform to recommend books, and separately toying with OpenAI‘s GPT-3 language generator. He decided to bring the two projects together to create an AI system that suggests tomes based on your current mood.

I checked if it could find some books of genuine appeal — and also whether it would recommend ones extolling bigotry.

[Read: Are EVs too expensive? Here are 5 common myths, debunked]

After entering my desires in the search bar and verifying that I’m a human — a requirement made by the OpenAI team to prevent spam on their APIs — the system spat back suggestions ranging from intriguing to bizarre. Thankfully, it didn’t endorse anything overtly prejudiced, unlike so many AI systems.

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Published September 30, 2020 — 14:40 UTC

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