Researchers Use Robot to Write Play

Category : Human Interest

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. humanoid / ˈhyu məˌnɔɪd / (adj) – having human characteristics or form without being one

    I sculpted a humanoid figure for my art project.

  2. stage / steɪdʒ / (v) – to organize and participate in an activity that requires planning, such as a protest

    Public school teachers staged a two-day protest to call for increased wages.

  3. adequately / ˈæd ɪ kwɪt li / (adv) – in a manner that is acceptable or satisfactory

    The teachers gave students practice exercises to make them adequately prepared for the exam.

  4. synopsis / sɪˈnɒp sɪs / (n) – a short summary of something

    I read the film’s synopsis before watching the movie, so I already knew what to expect.

  5. coherent / koʊˈhɪər ənt / (adj) – logical and easy to understand

    I didn’t have problems understanding her report because it was well-written and coherent.


Read the text below.

A group of Czech Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts and theater professionals have teamed up to create the world’s first play written with the help of a robot.

The production, called THEaiTRE, is being created in honor of Rossum’s Universal Robots, a 1921 play that popularized the word “robot.” The 99-year-old play features humanoid robots, which later stage a rebellion that results in the extinction of humans.

The team used an AI model called GPT-2, which can complete unfinished texts if adequately trained. This AI works by using information from a sample text fed into it. For example, if given a paragraph from a text, it will write additional sentences by generating new ideas from the same topic or concept. In their experiment, the experts noticed that GPT-2 was able to immediately mimic the genre, style, themes, and context of the text given to it.

Currently, the experts are using GPT-2 to generate individual lines for the play’s script. The team is hopeful that the AI can write a summary of the play first, turn it into a synopsis, and finally expand it into dialogues. According to the people involved in the project, their biggest task is to ensure that the generated script is coherent, logical, and worth watching.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think a lot of people would be interested in watching the play? Why or why not?
• Do you think this play should use human actors or robot actors? Explain.

Discussion B

• Do you think it’s a good idea to use robots for a writing task? Why or why not?
• Do you think something that is done with the help of a robot can still be considered a creative masterpiece? Why or why not?

Category : Human Interest