‘AI helps compensate for your weaknesses’, says Japanese author ‘who won top literary award with ChatGPT help’

Rie Kudan, the Japanese writer who won this year’s Akutagawa Prize — the highest award in Japanese literature — with a book where around 5% of the content was generated by ChatGPT, encourages writers to use generative artificial intelligence in their creations.

“If you think carefully about how to use it and face your own weaknesses, AI helps you compensate for them,” says the 33-year-old author, speaking at the headquarters of her publishing house, Shinchosha, which advertises her work under the slogan “A book of prophecies in the era of generative artificial intelligence.” However, Kudan says that the input from AI was very small: “Only one page out of 144,” according to El Pais.

The novel Tokyo To Dojo To (Tokyo’s Tower of Sympathy) was described by the jury as an “almost flawless” work and earned Kudan a literary prize created in 1935 and which has launched the careers of authors such as Kenzaburo Oe, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994. The award winner was announced in January, El Pais said.

Kudan, who declares herself a fan of Pedro Almodóvar’s films and a follower of the Japanese author Yukio Mishima, suggests that like The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (1956), her work can be read as a book about architecture. She said she will continue to use generative artificial intelligence in her creations because “it is a technology that can expand your potential.” The author added that Japanese regulation regarding the use of AI is still “very ambiguous.”

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