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Would you read a book written by an AI? A short novel co-written by humans and AI passed the first round of a Japanese literary contest.

Would you read a book written by an AI? A short novel co-written by humans and AI passed the first round of a Japanese literary contest. Danny Lewis takes a look at this well-structured novella on The Smithsonian.com website.

In the future, artificial intelligence may not just be relegated to the role of personal assistant or data analyzer: it may also make art. A novella co-written by an AI program and its human assistants made it through the first round of selection for a Japanese literary prize.

The novella, whose title translates to “The Day a Computer Writes a Novel,” was one of 11 AI-authored submissions to the third-annual Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award. The award is known for accepting writing from both humans and machines, but this was the first time it has received submissions from AI programs, Emiko Jozuka reports for Motherboard.

“So far, AI programs have often been used to solve problems that have answers, such as Go and shogi,” Hitoshi Matsubara, a computer scientist at Future University Hakodate and leader of the team that created the novelist AI, tells the Yomiuri Shimbun. “In the future, I’d like to expand AI’s potential [so it resembles] human creativity.”


The AI in question wrote the novel only after its designers wrote their own and distilled it into its basic components: words, sentences, and basic structure. Based on these parameters, the computer used an algorithm to essentially remix a new novella out of the original piece. Brogan says that while AI may develop greater capacity for creativity in coming years, it will most likely stay collaborative, such as with predictive typing on smartphones. While computers may be able to make their own art in the future, for the time being they are stuck working as our aides.

Read the full post on The Smithsonian.com.

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News Flash! Amazon Introduces New Kindle Paperwhite: The Most Popular Kindle, Now Even Better – Still Only $119

Amazon today introduced the all-new Kindle Paperwhite, updating its most popular and best-selling Kindle with the highest resolution Paperwhite display, the exclusive Kindle font Bookerly, and a new typesetting engine for more beautiful pages. Meet the new Kindle Paperwhite:

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers


 Today’s Bargain Price: $119.00

From Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO:

“The new Kindle Paperwhite obsesses over the details that matter most to readers—we’ve added our highest-resolution display so the words are crisp and clear on the page, a new font that is crafted exclusively for reading Kindle books, and a new typesetting engine that makes pages beautiful. Together, these details help you read faster and with less eyestrain, so you can lose yourself in the author’s world.”


  • New, higher resolution display (300 ppi)–now with twice as many pixels
  • Now with Bookerly, our exclusive font, hand-crafted from the ground up for faster reading with less eyestrain
  • Built-in adjustable light–read day and night
  • Unlike tablets, no screen glare, even in bright sunlight
  • A single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours
  • Massive selection, lowest prices–over a million titles at $2.99 or less
  • Lighter than a paperback, holds thousands of books
  • Exclusive features help build your vocabulary, learn about characters, and connect with like-minded readers–all without leaving the page
  • Try Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days–choose from over 800,000 titles

Don’t lose your place in line: pre-order right now for delivery June 30!

A $99 Kindle Fire HD Tablet Leads the Way

As Amazon Unveils Dazzling Array of New Kindle Models, Services

Screen shot 2014-09-17 at 9.53.43 PMAmazon announced an impressive array of new hardware and services at small-group briefings Wednesday, but the big news is the company’s introduction of the all-new Kindle Fire 6 tablet at just $99 — with a price, features, and hardware that allows the company to call it “the most powerful tablet under $100.” All of these models are available for pre-order right now, and all will begin shipping in October.

But that wasn’t all. The Kindle briefings also rocked some major new offerings in the all-important Kindle ecosystem for kids, in new eInk ereader hardware and software, in high-end Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 enhancements, and in family- or household-friendly features for most kinds of Amazon digital content across the full array of Kindle and Kindle-compatible devices:

  • Amazon announced a new-generation of eInk Kindles, including its “thinnest, most advanced Kindle ever” — a Paperwhite model that is now called the Kindle Voyage — at $199 and, in a continuation of its strategy of offering highly affordable entry devices, a new $79 basic Kindle with a touchscreen interface (for the first time) and a 20% faster processor and twice the storage of its $69 predecessor.
  • For children, Amazon is now offering what amounts to a dedicated kids’ Kindle that includes, for $149, a Kindle Fire 6, a molded rubber kid-friendly case, over 5,000 books, movies, TV shows, games and educational apps via a free one-year subscription to Free Time Unlimited as well as a quad-core processor, a vivid HD display, fron- and rear-facing cameras, Dolby Digital audio, and “an unprecedented 2-year worry-free guarantee.”
  • At the higher end, Amazon has held its $379 price for a new-model Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 featuring  a quad core 2.5 GHz processor, a 70% faster graphics engine, 339 ppi display, exclusive new Dolby Atmos audio and a brand-new Fire OS 4 “Sangria” operating system  that “adds hundreds of new features and platform enhancements, incluidng Firefly, ASAP, Smart Suspend, and other Amazon-exclusive features.

We had a chance to test drive all of these models today and it’s a strong array that should help Amazon continue its dominance in the ereader and ebook markets while gradually carving out a larger slice of the tablet market. As impressive as the new hardware is, a lot of what Amazon rolled out today involved nice, incremental enhancements in ease of use and performance that will make a more gradual, but very positive impression on customers. Among these are free unlimited storage for photos taken on Fire devices, a Smart Suspend power-saving system,  “ASAP” for time-saving predictive streaming, and a new “Family Library” feature that allows family members to easily share apps, games, audiobooks, ebooks, and Prime Instant Video content, even if they use different Amazon accounts.

We’ll have more to share about all of this in the coming weeks and months, but we wanted to give an idea of what we all have to look forward to.

Amazon launches the Fire Phone!

By Len Edgerly and Steve Windwalker

Thousands of media, developers and real, live Amazon customers gathered in Seattle today to see Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos launch the company’s latest product, and BookGorilla was there with live coverage from our friend Len Edgerly.

The product, as you already know, is Amazon’s brand new Fire Phone.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 1.52.27 PMBezos described it, in a word, as “gorgeous,” and it is definitely going to be a game changer in all kinds of ways. We are all trying to keep up, to take in these new ways of looking at a screen and navigating a smart phone, reports Len. Make that “brilliant phone,” a new category is being presented to us today.

Indeed, the Fire Phone is going to seem magical to most of us, at least for the next few months, but it’s also amazing to think that there are kids who will grow up taking all of this for granted.

Here are the details from Amazon:

Introducing Fire, the First Smartphone Designed by Amazon

New breakthrough innovations—Dynamic Perspective, Firefly button, and more

Seamless integration with Amazon’s vast ecosystem—over 33 million songs, apps, games, movies,

TV shows, books, and more

Only smartphone with Mayday, ASAP, X-Ray, and Second Screen

Dynamic Perspective SDK and Firefly SDK now available

Fire is available exclusively on AT&T, the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network

Limited time, introductory offer—12 months of Prime included

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 18, 2014– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today unveiled Fire, the first smartphone designed by Amazon. Fire is the only smartphone with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, two new breakthrough technologies that allow you to see and interact with the world through a whole new lens. Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system to respond to the way you hold, view, and move Fire, enabling experiences not possible on other smartphones. Firefly quickly recognizes things in the real worldweb and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, movies, music, and millions of products, and lets you take action in secondsall with the simple press of the Firefly button.

Fire, the First Smartphone Designed by Amazon (Photo: Business Wire)

Fire, the First Smartphone Designed by Amazon (Photo: Business Wire)

“Fire Phone puts everything you love about Amazon in the palm of your hand—instant access to Amazon’s vast content ecosystem and exclusive features like the Mayday button, ASAP, Second Screen, X-Ray, free unlimited photo storage, and more,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “The Firefly button lets you identify printed web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, artwork, and over 100 million items, including songs, movies, TV shows, and products—and take action in seconds. We invented a new sensor system called Dynamic Perspective that recognizes where a user’s head is relative to the device—we use it to offer customers a more immersive experience, one-handed navigation, and gestures that actually work. And this is only the beginning—the most powerful inventions are the ones that empower others to unleash their creativity—that’s why today we are launching the Dynamic Perspective SDK and the Firefly SDK—we can’t wait to see how developers surprise us.”

Dynamic Perspective—Immersive Smartphone Experience

Dynamic Perspective uses four ultra-low power specialized cameras and four infrared LEDs built into the front face of Fire, a dedicated custom processor, sophisticated real-time computer vision algorithms, and a new high-performing and power-efficient graphics rendering engine. Dynamic Perspective features include:

  • One-handed gestures: Auto-scroll, tilt, swivel and peek for quicker, easier navigation and a better media and entertainment experience. For example, with auto-scroll, customers can read a long web page or a book without ever having to touch the screen; tilt in Amazon Music shows song lyrics; swivel instantly reveals quick actions; peek in Maps shows layered information like Yelp ratings and reviews.
  • Immersive apps and games: Dynamic Perspective enables a new class of apps and games that are more immersive, and make it quicker and easier for the user to access information. For example, peek to instantly see close-up front and back views of a dress in the new Amazon Shopping app for Fire. In games like Lili, take on the character’s viewpoint and move your head to look around corners, obstacles, and other objects.
  • Enhanced Carousel: Stay productive with real-time updates and take action right from the home screen—triage email, find recent photos, access most visited websites, return missed calls, view appointments, and more. Developers can customize the contents of their dynamic app and how it responds to user actions. For example, Zillow’s app in the carousel shows property information based on the location, so customers can access search results on nearby homes from the carousel without having to launch the Zillow app. USA TODAY shows headlines most relevant to customer’s interest—someone who frequents football in the Sports section will see those related headlines appear in the carousel.

Starting today, Amazon is introducing the Dynamic Perspective SDK that enables developers to build new experiences with this groundbreaking technology.

Firefly Technology–Illuminate Your World

Firefly combines Amazon’s deep catalog of physical and digital content with multiple image, text and audio recognition technologies to quickly identify web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, plus over 100 million items, including movies, TV episodes, songs, and products. Simply press and hold the dedicated Firefly button to discover helpful information and take action in seconds.

  • Printed phone numbers, email, web addresses, QR, and bar codes: Firefly identifies printed text on signs, posters, magazines and business cards—make a call, send an email, save as a contact, or go to the website without typing out long URLs or email addresses.
  • 245,000 movies and TV episodes, and 160 live TV channels: Firefly recognizes movies and TV episodes, and uses IMDb for X-Ray to show actors, plot synopses, and related content—add titles to Watch List or download and start watching immediately.
  • 35 million songs: Firefly recognizes music and uses Amazon Music’s rich catalog to show information about the artist—play more songs, add them to your Wish List, or download instantly to your Fire. Developers, such as iHeartRadio and StubHub, used the SDK to build Firefly-enabled apps, so customers can create a new radio station based on the song or find concert tickets for the artist.
  • 70 million products, including household items, books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and more: Access product details, add items to your Wish List, or order on Amazon.com.

The Firefly SDK is available starting today so developers can invent new ways to use this advanced technology. Later this year, Firefly will include artwork recognition, foreign language translation, and wine label recognition powered by Vivino.

Amazon Exclusive Features and Vast Digital Ecosystem—All Deeply Integrated

Fire seamlessly integrates Amazon’s vast digital ecosystem for instant access to over 33 million songs, apps, games, movies, TV shows, books, audiobooks, and magazines, including thousands of exclusives. Plus, Prime members get unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes at no additional cost with Prime Instant Video, over 500,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and the all-new Prime Music—unlimited streaming and download of more than a million songs and hundreds of expert-programmed playlists—all at no additional cost.

Fire deeply integrates Amazon exclusive services:

  • Mayday is now available over 3G and 4G, in addition to Wi-Fi—simply hit the Mayday button in quick actions and an Amazon expert will appear via live video to co-pilot you through any feature on the device. Amazon experts are able to draw on the screen, talk you through how to do a task, or do it for you—whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free. Amazon’s response time goal for Mayday is 15 seconds or less—since launch, the average response time has been 9.75 seconds.
  • ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for instant playback before you even hit play.
  • X-Ray helps you get more from books, music, movies, and TV shows. Explore the bones of a book, including characters, ideas and background with a single tap on the screen; bring the power of IMDb right to Fire for trivia on movies and TV shows; plus, with X-Ray for Music, see synchronized lyrics display while you listen to your favorite song.
  • Second Screen lets you fling TV shows and movies from Fire phone to your Fire TV, PlayStation or any other Miracast-enabled device. Second Screen turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up Fire phone to provide playback controls and a customized display for X-Ray, all without leaving the TV show or movie you’re watching.
  • Free unlimited cloud storage of photos taken with Fire, automatically backed-up wirelessly and available across Amazon devices and Cloud Drive apps so you have access anywhere.

Beautiful Industrial Design & Powerful Hardware

Built using premium materials, including Gorilla Glass 3 for the rear and front, aluminum buttons, stainless steel details and a rubberized polyurethane grip area, Fire is optimized for beauty, hand comfort and powerful performance:

  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.2 GHz processor and 2GB RAM for excellent fluidity and image rendering.
  • 4.7-inch HD display with an ambient light sensor and Dynamic Image Contrast that delivers better outdoor viewing.
  • Global LTE and connectivity with nine bands of LTE, four bands of GSM, five bands of UMTS for better voice coverage and faster data speeds, 802.11ac support, Wi-Fi channel bonding, NFC, and Bluetooth.
  • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus for a virtual surround sound experience.
  • Advanced imaging system with custom-tuned 13MP rear-facing camera with backside illumination, LED flash, 5-element f/2.0 lens, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), and high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities for beautiful, crisp photos, even in low-light conditions. Fire also includes a 2.1MP front-facing camera. Both front and rear-facing cameras record smooth 1080p HD videos.
  • Reliable backup and restore leveraging the experience and operational excellence of Amazon Web Services and its cloud technology. Fire customers can automatically back up device settings, notes, bookmarks, messages, and installed applications—no need to manually configure or connect to a computer.

Availability & Exclusive Network Partner

Fire ships on July 25 and is available exclusively on AT&T—the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. Starting today, customers can pre-order Fire at http://bit.ly/32GBFirePhone. Fire with 32GB is available for $199 with a two-year contract—that’s an extra 16GB of memory for the same price as many other premium smartphones—or zero money down for as little as $27.09 a month from AT&T on Next 18. Fire is also available with 64GB for $299 with a two-year contract or starting at $31.25/month from AT&T on Next 18.

Limited Time, Introductory Offer

Starting today, customers can take advantage of an introductory, limited time offer—buy Fire and get 12 months of Amazon Prime included—FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video, unlimited, ad-free streaming and downloading of over a million songs and hundreds of playlists, and over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Existing Prime members get an additional 12 months added to their account.


At Last, The Amazon Fire Phone Is Here – And It’s Awesome!

Finally, the long-rumored and hotly anticipated Amazon Fire Phone has been announced, and is now available for pre-order in both an AT&T contract version and an unlocked version. There’s a lot to say about this phone, but here are the highlights:

– $199 in the 32GB version, $299 for the 64GB version when paired with an AT&T 2-year contract

– $649 and up for the non-AT&T version

– For a limited time, comes bundled with 1 free year of Amazon Prime, extends Prime subscription for a year for existing Prime members (that’s a $99 value!)

– 4.7″ Gorilla glass (that means extra-tough) touch display with four movement-tracking cameras, all with infrared capability to “see” in the dark, built to deliver a 3D viewing experience; the demo video on this was amazing

– Built-in Firefly recognition app that can “hear” music, “see” images, “read” text or barcodes in the real world and instantly connect users to information and purchase options online

– Built-in Kindle reader with Whispersync audio immersion feature (when you own both the Kindle and audiobook versions for a given book); auto-scroll through ‘pages’ of a book with a simple screen tilt, no touch required

– Built-in Amazon MP3 / Prime Music app, also employs touch-free gesture/tilt controls

– Unlimited Cloud storage for photos

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg on this truly innovative new smart phone that’s been four years in development.


Click here to get full details and technical specs on the new Amazon Fire Phone, and/or to pre-order. The Fire phone starts shipping next month for 7/25/14 delivery.


How About a Kindle Controversy with Your Thanksgiving Turkey? Pirated Version of Salinger’s THE CATCHER IN THE RYE Shows Up at $1.35 on Kindle

by Steve Windwalker, BookGorilla.com

Here at BookGorilla we’re all about discovering and sharing incredible Kindle deals on bestselling books that our subscribers actually want to read, and this one would be at the top of the list on both counts … if only it were legit.

But early this morning — as we worked to serve up great Thanksgiving Day deals on books by John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, Lee Child, David Baldacci, Nicholas Sparks, George R.R. Martin and others — we happened upon an ebook version of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, for sale in the Kindle store for just $1.35. We frankly didn’t care about the $1.35 price tag — it would be huge news at any price point.

Had there been some stunning tectonic shift in copyright claims overnight? Was it Jeff Bezos’ greatest get ever? Or just a study guide posing as the real thing?

None of the above, apparently. We downloaded the book and did a quick check in the initial pages as well as at several points further in to verify that the text offered is the text of the novel. Check.

But there were several very strong signals that this edition was not uploaded by a representative of the Salinger estate — the rather litigious Salinger estate, we might add — or anyone acting on the estate’s behalf:

  • The author’s name is spelled wrong on the Kindle page;
  • The “cover image” is the same kind of inelegant, unprofessional image that is often associated with public domain titles; and
  • The formatting throughout the text is inelegant and suggests that its production was generated by OCR scanning.

We know thousands will want to download this edition regardless of its provenance. But we would be remiss not to offer the caveat that it will not only be removed soon from the Kindle Store, but also — in all likelihood — from people’s Kindles, as well.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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81% overnight price drop on this Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner!


This darkly comic, wonderfully inventive work, winner of the 1993 National Book Award, transforms the lore of Newfoundland–including shipwrecks, nautical knot-tying, horrid weather and family legend–into brilliant literary art.

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Save 90% today on a sensual journey into an erotic world few women dare to enter . . .


When a writing job at a sex therapy clinic exposes her to the world of phone sex, Julia glimpses a world that stirs her erotic fantasies but threatens her carefully constructed reality. As she explores her connections to the men she knows and several she will never meet, she confronts evil, perversity, and her own passions.

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Price reduced 79% overnight on this PD James favorite! UNNATURAL CAUSES
A famous mystery writer is found dead at the bottom of a dinghy, with both hands chopped off at the wrists. Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh, with help from his remarkable Aunt Jane, must discover who typed the writer’s death sentence before the plot takes another murderous turn.

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Price cut 60% overnight! The deal lasts a month, but the story will stay with you forever

The Color of Heaven

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