Back in 1845, a clockwork device able to write Latin verse all by itself was unveiled by the eccentric inventor John Clarke. The idea of machines writing literature has fascinated authors from George Orwell to Umberto Eco. Today, machines are dabbling in writing novels, news reports and even philosophy. Chris Rodley – whose projects include the story generator @MagicRealismBot and a novel that writes itself using social media content – explores what the rise of artificial intelligence means for the future of literature.

Supported by the University of Sydney.