Nilofar Haja

By turning ‘numbers into words,’ statistics and data science companies are inventing creative algorithms that can program a bot to write seemingly original stories on sports, finance and food. Is our collective careers as story tellers in danger from a helix of code?

Let’s begin at the beginning. In the beginning, the Neanderthal man discovered that he could mix animal fat, earth minerals, pigments from soil, rock, plants and bind it all together with egg to have the first form of paint. He took pains to fill the walls of his cave home with crude, fantasy drawings of the animals running wild in the hot Savannah. It was a ritual way of portraying the hunt, to depict his mastery over the natural scenes over which he had no control, and as a means to glorify the hunts of yesterday. That’s how man began narrating stories. It was considered a uniquely human ability:…

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