Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, February 08, 2008

The Automated Author offers 85,888 books written by Philip M. Parker, but Parker himself claims over 200,000.

A professor of management science, Parker has found the ultimate answer to writer's block--a computer program that churns out a book in 20 minutes and never misses a deadline.

The products are no monkeys-tapping-the-keys gibberish but specialized volumes that sell for high prices. Amazon will send you "The 2007-2012 Outlook for Lemon-Flavored Bottled Water in Japan" for $495 plus shipping.

Other books cover such subjects as toilet brushes, Chinese prawns and rotary pumps with designed pressure of 100 psi or less. One of his best-sellers is "Webster's Albanian to English Crossword Puzzles: Level 1."

Parker produces his outsized oeuvre with a machine he invented that, after being fed the formula for writing a genre of book, scours a huge database full of information about a subject and uses the recipe to select data that it then writes and formats into book form.

His next breakthrough may be a blog-writing machine that swallows the news from thousands of sources and regurgitates it to support any opinion that is programmed into it. But, on second thought, that would be redundant.

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