Andy Stanton – Adventures of a Bemused Author: How ChatGPT Broke My Brain

18th April 2024 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
The Bookseller Crow on the Hill
50 Westow St
London SE19 3AF
Jonathan Main

Adventures of a Bemused Author: How ChatGPT Broke My Brain

Is ChatGPT the end of creative industries as we know them? An ethical quagmire from which there is no return? A threat to all our jobs, as we keep hearing on the news? AI is changing the world at frightening speed, so a bestselling author decides to find out more…

Bestselling children’s author Andy Stanton has made a career out of writing differently – from the grotesque antihero of his bestselling Mr Gum series to his penchant for absurdist plots and outrageous wordplay, his books are anything but formulaic. Saying this, please note this event is for Andy’s grown up book ‘Benny The Blue Whale’ and suitable for adults only.

When a friend introduces him to ChatGPT, the new large language chatbot, Andy is as sceptical as he is curious. Can this jumble of algorithms really emulate the spontaneity of human thought? Could it one day replace human authors like him for good? And are we soon to be ruled over by despotic robot overlords? He decides there’s only one thing for it – he must test this bot’s capabilities. Eventually, he settles on a prompt that will push the algorithm to its creative limits:

Tell me a story about a blue whale with a tiny penis

Chaos ensues.

What follows is a surprising and illuminating battle between Andy and ChatGPT that maybe, just maybe, might help us all understand AI a little bit better.  Andy’s new book, ‘Benny the Blue Whale’ presents his prompts and the AI-generated narrative alongside an extensive and entertaining commentary which provides a startling paean to the art of a good story and the boundlessness of human creativity. Serious and profane, hopeful and hilarious, join us for what will be nothing short of entertaining when Andy discusses ‘Benny the Blue Whale’, which provides a joyfully anarchic meditation on AI, literature and why we write in the first place.


Andy Stanton is best known for his bestselling ‘Mr Gum’ children’s book series. Additionally, he has written picture books including ‘Danny McGee Drinks the Sea’ and ‘Going To The Volcano’. His books have received two Blue Peter Book Awards, the Red House Children’s Book Award, and the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize. This is Andy’s first book for adults.

Tickets are £5 and include a drink.