From Literature to Biterature is based on the premise that in the foreseeable future computers will become capable of creating works of literature. Among hundreds of other questions, it considers: Under which conditions would machines become capable of creative writing? Given that computer evolution will exceed the pace of natural evolution a million-fold, what will such a state of affairs entail in terms of art, culture, social life, and even nonhuman rights? Drawing a map of impending literary, cultural, social, and technological revolutions, Peter Swirski boldly assumes that computers will leap from mere syntax-driven processing to semantically rich understanding. He argues that acknowledging biterature as a species of literature will involve adopting the same range of attitudes to computer authors (computhors) as to human ones and that it will be necessary to approach them as agents with internal states and creative intentions. Ranging from the metafiction of Stanislaw Lem to the "Turing test" (familiar to scientists working in Artificial Intelligence and the philosophers of mind) to the evolutionary trends of culture and machines, Swirski's scenarios lay the groundwork for a new area of study on the cusp of literary futurology, evolutionary cognition, and philosophy of the future.
Peter Swirski is professor of American literature and culture at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis and former research director at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He is the author of twelve books, including Ars Americana, Ars Politica: P
"Swirski's work is an accessible introduction to the domain Artificial Intelligence and its impact on the presumed emergence of computer-generated literature - a thought provoking concept." Tomasz Lem, author of Adventures in the Field of Universal Gravitation
?From Biterature to Literature is the best thing that's appeared since Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. At points fascinating, unsettling, and profound, Swirski effortlessly integrates philosophy of mind, robotics, literary studies, cultural trends, futurol
?This latest book confirms[Swirski's] skill in handling transdisciplinary studies, blending in the proposed route from literature to biterature issues of science, mind philosophy and society.? Leonardo
"Brisk, playful, and paradoxical, Swirski presents the reader with a buffet of food for thought." Quill & Quire
?However beautiful or ugly computer code may be, it is still written by humans. In From Literature to Biterature, Peter Swirski, a professor of American studies and the culture at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis, proposes a new version of the Turin