AI has arrived in the world of publishing. Is it welcome?
AI. Two letters that evoke such strong feelings. We have doomsdayers predicting the end of the working world as we know it. And then there are others who praise the technology as the best thing since sliced bread. So which is it?
I think there is a reason people are afraid. There has been evidence of competently executed manuscripts and artwork by this new technology. I believe it was Stephen King, who used the technology to generate an example of artwork that was spot-on for one of his potential books. The staff of sci-fi magazine, Clarkesworld, had to close submissions for their annual writing contest in January after they were flooded with AI generated submissions. But were those submissions successful? “It was “easy” to see which submissions were machine-generated,” said the magazine.
One can argue that will change in the future and people will soon be unable to differentiate as easily. But I still have to say, I don’t envision an AI program completely taking over the creator industry. Call me naive- but I just honestly don’t.
Thirty years ago the first computer beat the best chess player in the world. Everyone predicted the end of chess. Why bother anymore? And yet– my son just had over forty kids sign up for his after school chess club this past winter.
There will always be the fun in the “game” to draw people into wanting to create. And people will always still be drawn to the human element both in and behind the creation. People want someone to root for and relate to. People want to get to know the author or artist. They want to know what their inspiration was. What their thoughts, process, and difficulties were during the creation.
One can argue that’s not always the case– hence why I’ll even agree some AI generated work will most definitely enter the marketplace. But this is why I feel it will never dominate the marketplace.
Now, what I do envision happening is a divide between the creators who embrace this technology and the ones who don’t. Just like the technology in the past, those who grow comfortable and find ways to utilize it will be the ones to rise to the top.
And there are plenty of ways to utilize this AI creator technology without having it replace us. Who couldn’t benefit from gaining time by dictating and immediate editing software? Meaning in addition to grammar– it would correct awkward sentence structure and misuse of words. This alone could save hours of rewrites and drafts.
There is also AI narration. No, we do not want to replace human narrators entirely. But it is costly to use a human narrator, limiting what we can get made into audiobook format. Utilizing AI for shorter works, bonus content, sneak peek chapters etc., could greatly increase our marketing potential and library of content.
Overall, the Hollywood writers on strike are partly right that we need to examine how the technology is implemented and how it will affect writers and their pay scales. Jobs might change. But do I honestly envision an AI program writing a writer out of a job completely? No.
Instead of living in fear, let’s be strategic and discern how AI can make our lives better and more productive.
What are your thoughts on AI? As usual, I always love to hear from you. Please share below in the comments!