Japanese Top Literary Award Winner Admits Using ChatGPT To Write Novel

The book was lauded by the judges as "practically flawless".

Japanese Top Literary Award Winner Admits Using ChatGPT To Write Novel

Japanese author Rie Kudan won the award for her novel 'Tokyo Sympathy Tower'.

Japanese author Rie Kudan, who won the country's top prize for literature, recently revealed that she used the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT to write some parts of her book. The 33-year-old was awarded the Akutagawa Prize for the best work of fiction by a promising new writer last week for her sci-fi novel 'Tokyo-to Dojo-to (Tokyo Sympathy Tower), as per a report in VICE. The book was lauded by the judges as "practically flawless". 

In her acceptance speech, she said, "This is a novel written by making full use of a generative AI like ChatGPT, and probably about 5 per cent of the whole text is written directly from the generative AI. I would like to work well with them to express my creativity."

The novel, which has AI as a theme, revolves around the problems faced by an architect entrusted with creating a comfortable high-rise prison in Tokyo where lawbreakers are treated for their crimes.

Ms Kudan is not the first artist to use artificial intelligence to stir up controversy at a time when many artists fear technology is endangering their ability to make a living. 

In 2023, a German artist sparked a row after winning a prestigious photography prize with an entry that was generated by artificial intelligence. Boris Eldagsen eventually rejected the gong from the Sony World Photography Awards after concluding that such competitions were not yet equipped to handle AI entries.

The awards organisers initially accused the artist of "misleading" behaviour, but removed the accusation from a later statement after a furious reply from Mr Eldagsen. 

Sony World Photography Awards announced Mr Eldagsen's entry -- a sepia-toned image of two women entitled "Pseudomnesia: The Electrician" -- as the winner of its creative category in mid-March.

Boris Eldagsen gave interviews at the time explaining how he had made the work and saying he wanted to spark a debate over AI.

However, he wrote later that "AI images and photography should not compete with each other in an award like this" and rejected the prize. "I applied as a cheeky monkey, to find out if the competitions are prepared for AI images to enter. They are not," he wrote.

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