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Meet Shelley, The MIT Developed AI-Powered Horror Writer

Shelley AI is a deep learning algorithm that was developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and named after English Storywriter Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

The best original project of horror has been found for the season. As a clever result created by MIT, The Media Lab of the Institute has shared the Nightmare Machine – an AI that can generate gruesome horror imagery.

After the MIT researchers’ debuted the AI horror-writer, Shelley was trained using stories collected from a Reddit-based platform, dedicated to sharing original creepy tales. According to its developers, Shelley “takes a bit of inspiration in the form of a random seed, or a short snippet of text, and starts creating stories emanating from her creepy creative mind.”

Here’s a quick example of how original Shelley can be:

I could feel something watching me and I could see this dark shadow standing there with a torrent of hatred in its face. I was beyond scared so I didn’t take my eyes off this thing and turned back towards the mirror to see what was behind me!


The team is working to generate the world’s first AI-human horror anthology. Shelley, it seems, can write like a pro, although most of this AI’s work is currently in short forms or snippets.

The developers designed Shelley to progress with users simultaneously, “Shelley truly enjoys is to work collaboratively with humans, learning from their nightmarish ideas, creating the best scary tales ever.” If you’re interested in horror-fiction, you can add your own horror ideas via Twitter.

The team revealed the AI this week and since Monday, Shelley has been tweeting a new story every hour. Enjoy while reading Tweets if you want, contribute, but don’t miss the fantastic stories during the festive season!

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