Recently, an artificial intelligence program won a game of Go against a professional for the first time. Now, according to Mashable, another program (with help from humans) passed the first phase of Japan's Nikkei Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award. That's right, a computer program might be a better writer than you.
The Japan News reports that the team, led by Future University Hakodate professor Hitoshi Matsubara, chose the plot and characters for the novel, and also supplied words and sentences for the program to use. The judges were not aware of the A.I.'s co-authorship. At a press conference, science fiction novelist Satoshi Hase called the novel "well-structured," but said that there were issues with character descriptions, among other things. Matsubara's team was not alone in using an A.I. component in the competition, as there were a total of 11 (out of about 1450) entries that in some way involved A.I. programs. However, theirs was the only to make it beyond phase one.
You can read the submission online [PDF], though it is in Japanese, so any language translation may prevent an accurate assessment of the A.I.'s writing abilities.