Google has a new website out called Google Scribe. I’m using it to write this entire post. Basically, it’s an autocomplete field for general writing, not just the search box. The algorithm isn’t published, so I’m not sure how it exactly works. I think it samples from the “great” writing found on the web, but no idea if it turns you into a more generic writer or a better one. But there’s a lot of different uses for this thing, and google has made it easy to place it into any website with a text field.
Here’s a couple experiments that other people have done with the writer. You can start it out with just a phrase and then just let it go. It doesn’t support link suggestions, which might make the tool go from being a clever toy to the most awesome thing I could use to write. When I’m writing, I need an autocomplete that goes beyond words– it needs to include documents, links, contacts and content (preferably scraped from my copious online output). I’m building all these loose associations in my brain by collecting things in delicious, in blogs, other social networking websites…but tying them together is something that I do when I sit down and write. A tool that could effectively sit in my idea-flow and help finish my thoughts would be a piece of software that I would pay for.
Yesterday on NPR they announced this weeks new 3-minute story contest. This weeks contest gives you the first and last sentences and lets NPR listeners send in the remaining 600 words. I’m going to have google scribe write the in-between and see what comes out. (Shhh, don’t tell them that I’m doing this.) I hope it’s funny enough to win something. Maybe Michael Cunningham deserves to be Sokal-ed? I’ll publish the story here when I finish it.