This post is written by a human.
Whaaat? Yes, it sounds crazy, but we have reached the age of artificial intelligence (“AI”) that generates written content. Websites like Medium.com, a subscription website that features ad-free content across a wide variety of interests, are exploring the implications of AI-generated content. It is here now, and these AI creators are only getting better. The same technology is being used to generate graphics and photos. So, what are the real-world implications for writers and artists, as the use of AI-generated content only gets better?
Should I be intimidated? Yes and no. Yes if I wrote commercially, especially for marketing websites, or company blogs. I would see fewer and fewer opportunities for paid writing gigs as they are replaced by the bots. (Or, I could join the train and use AI to write a fact-filled blog post.) No, because humans remain the authentic voice of story and passion.
AI created writing should be identified as such
The current philosophy is to require full disclosure, e.g., “we require that any story created with AI assistance be clearly labeled as such.” (Scott Lamb, on Medium.com, January 26, 2023.) This of course presumes honesty. I don’t envy English teachers who now must filter authentic writing from AI-assisted class essays.
There is so much technology in place today, that either didn’t exist when I wrote my book, or that I didn’t know about. Today there are software programs designed for writers that would have saved me so much work in managing text and research. I applaud useful technology that saves time, eliminates redundancy, and builds efficiency. Every writer should use a spell checker, grammar checker, internet backup to prevent data loss, and use the writing software that works best for them. Need to transcribe something? Dictate it and websites will convert to text. The tools aren’t perfect but they get better all the time. Still…the words are mine, not computer-generated through AI.
In any profession or endeavor, it’s all about finding the right tools and techniques for the job.
Twenty years ago I relied on cassette tapes
Today it sounds ancient, but I have a shoebox of cassette tapes that captured my interviews, and Henry Zguda’s voice. These were tediously transcribed into written text. My ‘backup’ is a duplicate set of tapes in a safe deposit box. Such is the change in technology in twenty years. I know a fellow writer who handwrites her first draft, and then simply dictates it for instant transcription into text. Forget typing pages and pages. The amount of software and websites available to writers today to make the job easier is a learning curve all its own.
Authors? Books? I know I am a slower writer because I tend to rewrite. A lot. Sometimes I can’t make up my mind, but I do want to get it right. This is the contract every writer makes with the reader – to be authentic, to entertain, inspire, touch the heart and imagination, and engage.
AI robots don’t converse, connect, or think.
As a reader, I’m not sure what the standout hallmarks of AI-content as it gets better. Can we distinguish human-generated versus AI-generated content? Bots are here to stay. But in this age of artificial intelligence and AI-generated content, humans remain the authentic voice of story, emotions, and life experience.
So how can you, my dear reader, reward human writers, authors, and artists? Applaud us. Spread the word. Buy our books and artwork, and request your local library carry good books. Post reviews. Tell other humans you like their work. Give books and art as gifts. Ditto for other artists. The human grapevine still rocks. I hear from many of you and I thank each of you for everything you already do to support this indie author.
I have a t-shirt that reads: “Blessed are the weird people, the poets & the misfits. The artists, the writers, and the music makers, the dreamers, the outsiders. For they force us to see the world differently.” Indeed.
Full disclosure: This post is written by a human.