Writing in an AI Age
It is no secret that artificial intelligence has been a big topic of discussion among the creative community as of late. While we’ve already seen major companies such as Marvel use AI art, that is not necessarily an indicator of the sustainability of AI works.
For starters: We are already experiencing signs of AI work feeding off of itself. AI art programs have started training themselves off of their own work. We are also starting to see similar results from ChatGPT in terms of writing content. The reality is that while we may see a rising trend in AI usage now, it will not always remain that way. Here are a couple key points:
AI needs us to continue creating.
It can’t generate usable content without our creations. It cannot hope to replace us as writers and artists so easily for this reason.
Why? We have innovation.
We have the ability to create new, original works out of our own ideas. AI is just one of many human ideas, which is why it is not capable of the same level of “thought”. The more it uses its own work, the less original and more distorted it becomes.
People flock to creative endeavors due to the insertion of human experience, perception, and connection.
That is also unable to be replicated by AI. Think about your own favorite voice actors, actors, musicians, artists, or writers. None of their work can truly be replicated, because they bring their own life and assets into their work. It is why you still see the success of concerts despite studio recordings existing. It is also the reason you still see a lot of attendees at open mic events despite our ability to read poetry alone. There is something that is innately different emotionally about hearing a poet read their own work aloud, as intended. Lastly, it is why you have seen pop culture conventions take off over the past decade or two. There is something special about coming together to celebrate what you love with others, and hearing about the process from the very creatives who worked on the material. There is also something special about analyzing and celebrating hard work with others.
I think you get the point, but the takeaway is this: While AI has arguably hurt the creative community, don’t let it dissuade you from pursuing your passions! Resistance and expression of humanity are the only ways to argue the importance of creative professions.
AI as a tool
Now, AI is not entirely scary. Like many other human inventions, it can be a useful tool. If you think about it, spellcheck is a much tamer usage of AI. Early proofreading/editing is just one of many examples. You can also use these programs to generate prompts for writing in order to practice, or if you feel stuck. You can also use it to aid in character creation by having it generate personality traits or characteristics for you and building off of that. Notice how all of these still involve the writer’s perspective and original work while making use of the invention itself? There are non-harmful ways to use these programs that don’t strip the creative process of its humanity or take away important jobs. That is what they were originally intended for: to make our jobs easier, not steal them.