In January, media outlets everywhere sounded the alarm on A.I.s that will end writing as we know it. Even though the media coverage was way over the top, it did start a conversation amongst artists who weren’t necessarily thrilled about it with one remarking, “The words ‘digital’ and ‘art’ go together as well as ‘food and sh*t‘.” Nonetheless, whether we like it or not, A.I.s have been assisting people with their writing and art projects for a few years now. They’ve only reached a new level of evolution which has finally caught the attention of the media.

I’ve watched several content creators test ChatGPT, (the A.I. at the center of this controversy) and I’m going to check it out as well but unlike them I’m not interested in its answers, I’m interested in its technique. That’s what’s important, anybody can throw sentences together but connecting with people is at the core of what we do. If A.I. can now mimic the nuances of writing then I guess we’ll need to find a nice a sturdy box to live in. However, I have my doubts, so let’s separate the facts from fiction and discover what A.I. can do.

Can An A.I. Write Like a Human?

As I experimented with ChatGPT, I asked: Is A.I. technology a threat to authors?


“It is possible that AI technology could pose a threat to some authors, particularly if it is used in a way that reduces the demand for human-generated content. However, it is important to note that AI is still a relatively new technology and it is not yet clear how it will be used in the writing and publishing industries.

In the short term, it is more likely that AI will be used to assist authors with certain tasks, such as grammar and style check, research and idea generation, rather than replacing them completely. In the long term, it is possible that AI could play a larger role in the writing process but it is unlikely that it will completely replace the need for human authors.

Ultimately, the impact of AI on the writing and publishing industries will depend on how the technology is developed and used. It is important for authors to stay up-to-date on the latest AI tools and technologies and to consider how they can used to enhance their work, rather than replace it.”


To test its ability further, I repeated the question but in a different way: Will A.I. replace authors? 


It is unlikely that AI technology will replace authors in the near future. While AI tools can assist with certain tasks, such as grammar and style check, research and idea generation, the ability to create unique and compelling content that resonates with readers is still a skill that requires human creativity and insight.

As you can see, it regurgitated some of the same lines without much variation. Also, notice how ChatGPT avoided contractions like “it’s” and used “it is” instead. But this isn’t the only issue with ChatGPT because the A.I. has been found to spit out incorrect or biased information and that’s where its real weakness lies. If you depend on this technology for research or data analysis, you may find yourself disappointed, because it can be wrong. You still need to fact-check and edit the project to ensure the quality of the work because it’s not always up to professional standards. 

Nonetheless, as you can see, ChatGPT could pass as human but I’m not completely blown away, so I believe our jobs are safe—for now. I tried to use ChatGPT to write this article but I found its work substandard and ended up trashing 95% of it. (I only kept some of the headlines.) I think it’s great for an outline and perhaps inspiration but not much else. However, your needs may be different so I encourage you to try it out while it’s still free. 

AI and Copyright: Who Really Owns The Content? 

Currently, in the U.S. only humans can claim copyright to a work but that could change as this technology evolves. However, in China, an A.I. was already granted copyright protection for meeting the requirements for original work. These are two different countries, with two very different takes on who or what deserves copyright protection. The E.U. has a similar stance to China’s but their laws are more complicated because content generated by A.I. can be ruled a work but it needs to be decided by a court if it’s original in order to be granted copyright protection. In other words, if you’re a writer using A.I. to assist you, there could be challenges to the ownership of your work.

Another thing artists need to consider is that fact that there may be companies or clients who may not want A.I. generated work at all. Most businesses want full legal control of the work they buy. Granted, this is something that has yet to play out in the courts but it will. Right now, ownership isn’t clear at least not on an international level. 

Isn’t A.I. Just Plagiarism?

Charlene Putney, co-creator of LAIKA (An AI creativity tool) was asked that question on The Creative Penn podcast and her answer was, “Every time you use LAIKA you put in a prompt, so for example let’s say, we put in a prompt: ‘Deep down I always knew.’ Every single time you use that prompt with any brain, you’re going to get a different result. Actually three different results, we give three different inferences each time. There isn’t really going to be a situation where you and me come up with the same thing. So there really isn’t a way in which we can be plagiarizing each other or anybody else.”  She also mentioned that if someone were to use copyrighted material on their site, they would take it down which is good to know.

However, not everyone is following this example because several artists have already found their work being used to train AIs like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney. Both companies are currently being sued for copyright violations with lawyers calling the A.I.s “parasitic” and declaring, “it would put artists out of a job.” And although I don’t agree with that, I do agree that artists need to be compensated for unwillingly participating in this A.I. experiment. You see, most of these A.I.s are trained on online content such as blogs, art websites, and social media posts which puts them at high risk of copyright and trademark violations. However, it looks like these companies knew the risks and went ahead anyway because there’s so much money to be made if A.I. goes mainstream. It’s yet another example of corporations upending an industry without any regard for those working within that space.

The Glaring Privacy Issues

The ChatGPT website warns users not to reveal any personal or business information to its A.I. because it does share data with 3rd parties. Also, keep in mind that it’s still in Beta so it’s still in training meaning anything you put into it, can be used to train the A.I. Recently, Amazon warned its employees about using ChatGPT after the A.I. was found mimicking internal data. So if you’re using an A.I. like this for a client, make sure they are aware of ChatGPT’s privacy policy.

This alone may be a deal breaker for some but it’s been argued that this data collection is necessary because ChatGPT has been trained on internet content as well as literature within the public domain and most of that content was Eurocentric and male. So for this technology to evolve, it needs to be trained on all kinds of content by people from diverse backgrounds. I believe it’s important that all artists and writers are represented in this next wave of technological advancements but only if they are fairly compensated.

The Possible Dark Side Of A.I.

It was brought up during The Creative Penn podcast that A.I. could be used by publishing companies to cut out the middle man and produce books without any need for writers. These days most publishing contracts take the majority of the licensing rights of an author’s work and that could be disastrous. Publishers could create more books in the author’s voice (style), without permission simply by feeding the A.I. an author’s backlist. This is why it’s so important to watch what’s going on in the industry because if we’re not careful we could be completely cut out of future deals. It happened in the U.S. during the digital (ebook) revolution when publishing companies tried to claim copyright on technology not yet invented. This is called retroactive rights grabbing by the way and I talked about it in my post: Licensing Rights & What Authors Should Know if you’re interested in learning about how bad things can get in publishing.

AI and the Future of Writing: The Possibilities

I know this post wasn’t very flattering but make no mistake, I am optimistic about A.I. I know this technology is going to evolve and we need to evolve alongside it. In fact, A.I. is already ushering in a new generation of virtual reality, gaming, and movies which will require content from writers and artists. So this is the dawn of a new era, and just like artists had to learn how to create in digital form, we’ll need to learn how to create using A.I. Sure, the A.I.s of today aren’t very impressive but they will be in a few years and that’s when the paradigm will shift. The only question now is: will you be ready? 

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