Prosecraft fiction analytics

Released: 2017

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Prosecraft, a so-called 'linguistic database of literary prose' built on the texts of over 25,000 novels by thousands of different authors, has been found to have done so without their consent, generating a backlash by angry authors.

Benji Smith, who is behind Prosecraft and its sister company Shaxpir, used the content of books by Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Neil Gaiman, Angie Thomas, Terry Pratchett, John le Carré, and others, to build a database of novels that could be used to analyse their world count, story arc, and 'vividness', amongst other criteria.

In a blog post announcing he was taking down the website, Smith said 'the prosecraft website never generated any income'. However, writers subscribed to the Shaxpir 4: Pro version at USD 7.99 a month were given access to Prosecraft’s analytical tools. Smith has not said what has happened to the database.

Operator: Benji Smith/Shaxpir
Developer: Benji Smith/Shaxpir
Country: USA; Australia
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Analyse literature
Technology: Dataset
Issue: Copyright; Ethics
Transparency: Governance; Marketing


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