IWSG for October, 2023: Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence
(AI) is “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” (Source: Britannica.com) How will this affect writers?

The IWSG is the creation of Alex J. Cavanaugh, who writes awesome science fiction. You can find his books here. He started the IWSG, “To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!”  The IWSG’s website offers resources and a support group. Join the blog hop the first Wednesday of each month here! This month’s awesome co-hosts are Natalie Aguirre, Kim Lajevardi, Debs Carey, Gwen Gardner, Patricia Josephine, and Rebecca Douglass!

An optional question:  The topic of AI writing has been heavily debated across the world. According to various sources, generative AI will assist writers, not replace them. What are your thoughts?

Honestly, I haven’t given AI much thought, but I should. Like all technology, it is only as excellent as those who create it and feed it the information it needs to function. I'm certain that AI could be handy, but artificial intelligence in the hands of evil people could wreak havoc in the world. 

People might be wondering if AI will go too far and takeover...everything. Can it replace a writer's skill and talent. It's possible.

What are your feelings on AI? Will AI replace writers? 

For your reading pleasure: Forbes wrote this article in June: The 15 Biggest Risks Of Artificial Intelligence by Bernard Marr


I really, really hope that AI doesn't replace artists - whatever genre they work in.
Leigh said…
Reactions to AI seem to run the spectrum of folk being totally enamored to highly suspicious. The biggest problem I see, is that it's getting harder and harder to tell who wrote something, a human or AI? Seems like ethically there ought to be a disclaimer, but there isn't. At this point, even the big tech companies admit that their testing methods to differentiate are weak.

I remember an article years and years ago, from a tech newsletter about some simple bots developed by a large computer tech company. One problem the test phase revealed was that the bots developed their own language to communicate with one another, which their developers couldn't understand. They were able to fix this, but it ought to raise questions about what more sophisticated AI is capable of. Could we even identify the quirks?

The other day I watched a video by a non-fiction writer. Her area of expertise is in a technical craft. Her recent book was used (without her permission) to train AI (she says they aren't intelligent and aren't properly AI, but rather calls them LLM, large language models). She was angry because now, large portions of her work are not only being plagiarized, but combined with other writings so that the information offered by the AI is not only inaccurate but misleading. Along those lines, a permaculture forum I belong to has played around with AI and dissected its answers to find many, many errors in information.

As far as not replacing writers, I think in some sectors they already beginning to, such as online marketing copy. Apparently, it's more cost effective to pay for an AI service than it is to hire humans.

In the end, I doubt our feelings are relevant. The people who are enamored with AI are pushing on, full speed ahead. I do think there will always be human writers, but it will be more and more difficult in the future to tell who they are.
Right now, I'm using AI as a fairly able assistant. Down the road, AI is a little scary. :)
Natalie Aguirre said…
Yes, it can be helpful for certain tasks. But no, I don't think it can replace humans.
It really does matter who is feeding it the information. That affects its responses.
Nick Wilford said…
It can only take over if we let it. As creators, hopefully we can control the monster. Unfortunately, there usually tend to be "evil genius" people lurking around.
I think if all Stephen Kings books were fed into AI, it could write a Stephen King book. If every episode of a TV show was fed into it, it could write a script for an episode. I think that is the danger, but I'm not a tech guru so maybe I'm wrong.
Mary Aalgaard said…
Well, I just finished reading The Circle by Dave Eggers. If we don't maintain control over our own lives, we're doomed to be controlled by the powers that be. They will control AI, and we'll all be sheep.

That said, I stand by my post that humans have an innate need to create, and that we'll continue to do so. We, as consumers, need to be aware of what, or whom, we're supporting.


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