You may have heard of the recent conundrum with chat GPT, an AI chatbot that is uncannily capable of creating original written content, sometimes copying the style and tone of other authors. People have already discussed writing articles and school papers, and even whole novels have been written.
Cool? Well, depends on who you are. Useful? Also, depends on who you are. Dangerous?
You’ve probably seen scores, if not hundreds of examples of strikingly accurate replications of poems, essays, and even sermons in the style of your favorite author. Like a dream, it feels so real. But I’d compare it more to a deepfake: it can steal voice and tone, but it’s just too outrageous to be true…isn’t it?
But a video of Joe Biden railing against trans people (a deepfake I saw this morning) is easily spotted for not being genuine, it is much, much harder to tell if someone else is writing something. While every practiced writer has their own style, that style can be replicated by an AI–effectively masquerading as the author themselves. Identity theft, anybody?
People are already using AI services to write blog posts and school essays. Even more want to commit the heresy of using an AI to write novels. Well boys, we made it: we’ve successfully entered THE FUTURE: here children spend an obscene amount of hours browsing TikTok, Gen Z expects life to be handed to them on a platter, and people have delegated the task of writing to machines. What a time to be alive!
The scary thing is that it’s almost impossible to tell who’s really writing: the AI, or a human being. Teachers are baffled when failing students present adequate papers, and loser nobody-writers become bestselling authors overnight (that hasn’t happened, but it might if somebody decides to enter the prompt: Write a dystopian Star Wars story starring Boba Fett in the style of Brandon Sanderson)
Heck, for all you know, it could be an AI writing this article right now. Sure, I could assure you that there’s a human being sitting down and typing this up on his computer right now, but how else can I assure you? After all, that’s just what an AI would say when questioned.
So what’s my stance on the matter? Well…I think this kind of AI is marvelous. It’s a ton of fun to have it cook up a random story based on a weird prompt or fourth-wall-breaking meta humor. It’s pretty silly, and it’s enough like the real thing to pretend for a moment that you were the one writing it.
But writing is art. Art is an expression of humanity. AIs are not humans. Therefore, to flaunt a piece of AI generated script as art is an insult to all true artists. Listen, I’m on board with the ChatGPT stuff until a point. But when we’re in danger of having full novels written by AI and having them passed off as real pieces of art by people who call themselves authors, we have a problem.
Call me old-fashioned, but art requires the touch of a human hand to be meaningful. If art is churned out on an assembly line by AI like diapers or plastic nerf guns, it can be mass produced. It need never feel the touch of a human hand–but it will seem like it was written by a human being.
People who rely on AI to output content for blogs, journals, or publications are hacks and frauds, having no talent or education of their own. Don’t give me this “but I don’t have time to write” bullshiz. If you don’t have time to write, you’re not a writer. I’m sorry, but you can’t just take a soulless production and pass it off as real art. It’s an affront to everything real writers stand for.
So in answer to the beginning question, the answer to “Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Human Authors?” is no, as long as real authors exist. But, of course, that list is rapidly shrinking, so subscribe to my email list to keep in touch. When the Terminators take over, we can run some kind of writers’ underground, huh?
Be sure to check out my latest novel, Book 1 in the Praetors of Lost Magic Series, and our Publications page. Plus, I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the Resources tab. It’s full of super helpful material and I promise it will help you out. Until then, writers!