Sudowrite and the bathrobe of pleasure without consequence

I just took a look at the demo for Sudowrite, an AI-based text-generation tool to help fiction writers. (You can sign up for a free trial; after the trial period, it costs $10/month.)

I find it mildly intriguing, but not something I’m likely to use. But I’m amused by a couple of things in the introductory tutorial/demo.

  • At one point in the tutorial (I assume that this text was not written by the AI), it says “It's as if different versions of you in parallel universes were writing the next few paragraphs.” To which my response is: no, it’s as if an AI were writing the next few paragraphs. (…Wait, maybe in an alternate universe I’m an AI?)
  • You can select some text (such as a noun referring to an object in your story) and click the Describe button, and the AI generates sensory descriptions of whatever it was you selected. As prompted by the tutorial, I selected the phrase “jacquard bathrobe” and clicked Describe. It gave me a few reasonably serviceable descriptions (though a few of them seem to me to be phrased more like something from a text adventure than like prose fiction) for sight and smell and touch, but I was not expecting the one for taste: “The bathrobe is slightly damp to the touch. It tastes like a herb-infused lotion. It's light and clean, like a glass of crisp water, like a crisp summer day.”
  • In addition to the sensory-based descriptions, there’s also a section of “metaphorical” descriptions, which provides this description of the bathrobe: “It was a terrycloth redolent of crème de menthe and other dark pleasures, luxuries of form, pleasure without consequence. It radiated a soft inner glow, like moonlight on a summer lake.”

Join the Conversation