Beware the Cat , an ecclesiastical satire about talking cats, is a prime candidate and is now thought to be the earliest example of the novel form in the English language. Baldwin is barely known outside the circles of Renaissance literature, but he was highly celebrated and widely read in Tudor England.
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He also compiled a bestselling handbook of philosophy, and translated the controversial Song of Songs , the sexy book of the Bible. Beware the Cat tells the tale of a talkative priest, Gregory Streamer, who determines to understand the language of cats after he is kept awake by a feline rabble on the rooftops.
Turning for guidance to Albertus Magnus , a medieval alchemist and natural scientist roundly mocked in the Renaissance for his quackery, Streamer finds the spell he needs. With his witty beast fable, Baldwin is analysing an ancient question, and one in which the philosophical field of posthumanism still shows a keen interest: do birds and beasts have reason?
He self-censored for several years before making the work public. Beware the Cat was written in , months before the untimely death of the young Protestant king, Edward VI.
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Her Catholicism was fervent and these were terrifying days. By the mids, Mary was burning Protestant martyrs. One of her less alarming, but still consequential, decisions was to reverse the freedoms accorded the press under her brother Edward.
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Not content to persecute these men by denying them the pardon she accorded other Protestant printers, Mary I banned the discussion of religion in print unless it was specifically authorised by her officials. But by , Elizabeth I was on the throne and constraints on the press were less severe — despite the infamous case of John Stubbs, the writer who in lost his hand for criticising her marriage plans.
Baldwin, now in his 30s, had become a church deacon. Once it was released, Beware the Cat went through several editions. It was not recognised for the comic gem that it is until scholars such as Evelyn Feasey started studying Baldwin in the early 20th century and the novel was later championed by American scholars William A. I had thought my job was safe from automation--a computer couldn't possibly replicate the complex creativity of human language in writing or piece together a coherent story.
I may have been wrong.
Authors beware, because an AI-written novel just made it past the first round of screening for a national literary prize in Japan. It was entered into a writing contest for the Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award. The contest has been open to non-human applicants in years prior, however, this was the first year the award committee received submissions from an AI. Out of the 1, submissions, 11 were at least partially written by a program. Here's an excerpt from the novel to give you an idea as to what human contestants were up against:.
The computer, placing priority on the pursuit of its own joy, stopped working for humans. His team acted as a guide for the AI, deciding things like the plot and gender of the characters. But there are still some problems [to overcome] to win the prize, such as character descriptions. Many argue that while these systems may have a knack for Go and shogi, AIs preform better when partnered with humans.
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Chess teams composed of a human expert and artificial intelligence, for example, wipe the floor with teams made of artificial intelligence or humans alone. Maybe the future of literature means having a human at the helm with a computer co-author.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games.
From atomic theory to evolution to utilitarian pragmatism, the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus was way ahead of his time. In the writings of his school, philosopher Catherine Wilson finds answers to many of our most vexing modern problems.