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From chatbot to manga: ChatGPT takes on the high seas in One Piece experiment

Renowned for its versatility, the AI program ChatGPT has already excelled in diverse fields such as acing exams, producing news articles and coding. Given its impressive track record, it’s no surprise that “One Piece” creator Eiichiro Oda turned to ChatGPT for inspiration when he hit a writer’s block last month. Known for his record-breaking manga, which has a massive global following, Oda’s move highlights the potential of AI in creative fields.

“Hello. This is the author. I cannot come up with a story for One Piece next week. Would you think of a story? A super good one, please,” he prompted the programme, according to a video his staff posted on their Twitter account.

With remarkable speed, ChatGPT crafted a thrilling tale featuring brave protagonists encountering new allies and engaging in fierce combat against fresh foes, including the menacing “Shadow King”.

According to reports, ChatGPT pitched the story to Oda, highlighting its inclusion of a mysterious tribe, exciting new allies, and a deeper exploration of a beloved character’s intelligence and behavior. The AI program expressed confidence that such plot elements would resonate with the author’s loyal readership.

But Oda’s immediate review was unreticent: “Sorry. It’s boring,” he typed, demanding a better idea.

After its initial attempt, ChatGPT tried again and this time, it was successful in creating a compelling storyline. The programme came up with a plot where an alien teams up with the characters from “One Piece” and their leader, the “pirate king” Luffy, to fight against a witch and rebuild the alien’s home star, which had been destroyed by an evil spaceship. The storyline impressed Eiichiro Oda, who was struggling with writer’s block, and he reportedly approved it for use in the manga.

“Thank you. I will draw as it is,” wrote Oda in response, quipping that his next installation in the saga will be based on the new storyline.

“One Piece” follows straw hat-wearing Luffy and his team as they hunt for the titular treasure coveted by all pirates. The last instalment began on July 25 in Japanese weekly manga magazine Shonen Jump.

Since the first volume of “One Piece” was published in 1997, the series has sold more than 100 volumes and broken sales records. As a result, Oda holds the Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author. Last year, the 100th volume of the series was released in France and sold 250,000 copies, a figure that rivals works that have won the prestigious Prix Goncourt literary prize.

The “One Piece” universe includes cultural and geographical references that give it a universal dimension, including Ancient Egypt, Venice and medieval Japan.

Engaging characters and modern themes of breakneck industrialisation, racism, slavery and geopolitical intrigues add to the appeal of the series.

Producers hope the upcoming release of a Netflix series adapted from the “One Piece” universe will help it conquer new territory, bringing the story to the global streaming platform’s more than 200 million subscribers.

(With inputs from AFP)

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