MIT Creates Horror Writing A.I. Software named Shelley

Waylon JordanNewsLeave a Comment

Her name is Shelley, and she wants you to help her write scary stories on Twitter.  The fact that she’s an artificial intelligence platform is both cool and unexpected.

Shelley, named for the legendary author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, was created by Pinar Yanardag, Manuel Cebrian, and Iyad Rahwan and can be found on Twitter.  Interaction is a simple matter of reading Shelley’s prompts and responding with the proper hashtags attached at the end of your own tweet.

The platform, which went live on October 21, 2017, has already spawned over 1000 tweets and a multitude of stories based on responses by Shelley’s fellow Twitter users and horror enthusiasts.

She tweets a new story prompt ever hour, but will only respond to you if you follow the rules.  Luckily, those rules aren’t that hard to follow.

Users are allowed to reply with up to three tweets per story.  When you are ready for Shelley or another use to pick up the story, you should end your Tweet with #yourturn, or if you’ve decided the story should end with your response, you can Tween #theend.  According to their website, “Shelley responds selectively to the top stories every day, as measured by a combination of likes and retweets.”

Is this the future of horror storytelling?  Well, I wouldn’t go that far just yet.  While some of her prompts and responses are quite creepy, there is still a noticeably robotic stiffness to her language.  However, as time goes by and she continues to learn, who knows how sophisticated her voice may become?

It’s either genius or the beginning of its own horror story, but either way, we’ll be watching to see just where Shelley fits into the future of scary storytelling.

You can find Shelley and her stories on her Twitter account @shelley_ai and on the groups website, where you can also read a collection of the stories Shelley and her followers have penned so far.

Featured Image from Twitter @shelley_ai

Waylon Jordan is a lifelong fan of genre fiction and film especially those with a supernatural element. He firmly believes that horror reflects collective fears of society and can be used as a tool for social change.