The New York Times reports on the rise of computer programs such as Brutus 1 that are capable of writing really quite reasonable stories. For example, a computer is responsible for this piece of prose:
“Dave Striver loved the university - its ivy-covered clocktowers, its ancient and sturdy brick, and its sun-splashed verdant greens and eager youth. The university, contrary to popular opinion, is far from free of the stark unforgiving trials of the business world: academia has its own tests, and some are as merciless as any in the marketplace. A prime example is the dissertation defense: to earn the Ph.D., to become a doctor, one must pass an oral examination on one's dissertation. This was a test Professor Edward Hart enjoyed giving”.Human authors aren’t in too much trouble yet. Computers are bamboozled by the many choices that are available to them in developing a story. However, humans use their disorganised natures to their advantages by just not bothering to try out all the possibilities that are open to them. Instead, they rely on serendipity and inspiration, which stops them from getting bogged down in deciding between the millions of choices open to them.
The IPKat says, these computers may be brainy, but they don’t get to hold the copyright in what they create. Instead, under s.9 of the CDPA 1988, the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work are undertaken gets the right.
More computers with human characteristics here, here and here
Fiction a computer would be proud of here (lawyers of a sensitive disposition look away now)