The New Flowers for Algernon
AI-driven take on the canonical Sci-Fi short story by Daniel Keyes
Intellectual Rise and Fall
In his short story “The Flower for Algernon” (1959), Daniel Keyes describes an individuum’s dramatic intellectual evolution — and devolution. After a successful surgery experiment with increasing intelligence of a laboratory mouse called Algernon, the scientists undertake a similar procedure on a human being — on Charlie, a man with IQ 68 working a menial job.
After the successful operation, his IQ triples. His intellectual capabilities increase bit by bit, and he becomes a genius, smarter than all professors around. He learns multiple languages, writes on elaborate topics, which aren’t understood by others due to their complexity.
But the downside of the experiment is in inevitable regression, which follows after his intelligence peak…
The narrative consists of reports written by Charlie — and you can follow his rise and fall in the style of his notes, in topics, ideas, considerations…
Reimagining a story with AI
Let’s do the same.
I don’t ask you to undertake surgery, nor do I advise human experiments. We can do it with AI.
In my approach, I trained GPT-2 on literary magazines, essays, texts — and (here is a small preview): on all articles from Merzazine. I wanted to create new ideas and articles from my already written texts. I don’t use GPT-3 and apply the weak GPT-2 instead: to fine-tune GPT-3 you need huge resources and a powerful frameset. In opposite, GPT-2 can be trained anytime on any source. And even if its intellectual capability is not comparable to GPT-3, we still can face stunning results, texts, perspectives.
By using any GPT-model, you can modify parameters, for example, Temperature (extreme values: 0.1 till 1.0). With this setting, you change the creative ability of GPT.
With Temp=0.1, you will get redundant, weak, boring, and glitchy texts, while Temp=1.0 creates elaborated essays, diverse topics, with complex grammar structure and elaborated sophisticated argumentation.
In the following, you will read texts, which AI created with the only temperature setting change from 0.1 to 1.0 and back to 0.1. Rise and fall.