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E80: AI Replacing Humans As Authors

by Sean Boyce

Will AI replace humans as authors?

People are using ChatGPT to write everything from poetry to entire books. 

So far it seems like it’s doing it very well and ridiculously fast.  I want to talk about what this means for the future of writing.

Related article – https://thespectator.com/book-and-art/artificial-intelligence-ai-destroy-writing-chatgpt/

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Episode Transcript
Hey folks, Sean here and today what I want

to talk to you about is with the latest

developments tool Chat GPT from OpenAI, how I think

AI may ultimately replace humans as authors.

So my friends and I have been spending quite a

bit of time with Chat GPT and in particular from

my perspective, I’m most interested in the unique use cases

people are coming up with in terms of how to

leverage this technology to generate value.

And I’m using that for the most part to

create content, content like this so I can share

what I’m learning with you so that it helps

you figure out how to make your products better.

But of all the other folks in my network,

they’re using it for different reasons as well too.

And I wanted to learn more about that.

So I have a bunch of content that I

want to produce, right, and that includes email courses,

ebooks, even books and things like that about this

type of content specifically and all the various other

subjects that I usually cover.

Now, one of the biggest bottlenecks to

doing that is it’s time consuming.

It takes quite a bit of time for me to

have to sit down, plan it out, create outlines and

then ultimately write everything, proofread it, get the grammar correct,

which is definitely not a strength of mine.

I’m an engineer by trade, which means for the

most part I can’t spell in almost any language.

But as I’m learning about some of these other

use cases and what folks have been using it

for, I’m hearing everything from people are writing remarkable

poetry that’s indistinguishable from some of the greatest artists

all the way to and through.

People are leveraging it to create entire books for

which they may have already been publishing on Amazon

of different categories and things like that.

So that really sent me down a rabbit hole of figuring

out and really asking the question what is an author?

Because where this came from was when I was speaking

with some of my colleagues, I was trying to figure

out for what Chat GPT has been producing in terms

of the questions we ask and the help that we

want, the information we’re trying to gain access to.

When it’s asked sometimes for sources, that’s kind of the

question that came up is like when you’re asking it

to cite where it’s got that information from.

Because I know attribution is a big thing that a

lot of people in particular authors are concerned about and

in some instances, in terms of at least from what

I’ve heard, I still need to do more testing.

Sometimes it will list the sources, but sometimes it’s

pulling it from so many different locations that sometimes

I think there’s a little bit of pushback there.

So this part is at least unclear.

But that made me think about yet another question

in terms of, well, what makes an author?

What would the difference be in terms of what a human

may be doing versus what the AI may be doing?

Because as I started to think about it, I

was thinking that I think the AI or the

tech is essentially following the same, if not a

similar process as a human would, but just at

a remarkably faster and more efficient pace.

It can be more effective as well too, because

you can apply different types of rules like grammar

and spelling and all that kind of stuff in

order to make sure that it’s essentially as perfect

as it’s going to be and you can introduce

different styles and all kinds of things like that.

So anyway, that’s the question that I’m posing here.

I want to dive into some detail from an

article that I read which really painted a very

particular picture about what the future of writing looks

like with the advent of this technology.

Now, from one of the enlightening articles that I

found, which paints somewhat of a gloomy picture here

in terms of what the future looks like for

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authors, it makes two specific key points which I

think are very relevant in this context.

And that’s the fact that, number one, the prediction

from this writer with decades of experience is that

writing is essentially over and that authors should drop

it or switch almost entirely because rather soon the

computers will be here too.

And their words quote, do it better, which I can

understand and has kind of been the plot for a

ton of sci-fi movies for decades at this point.

And the second, which is even more interesting to me

because I’m not sure I completely, 100% agree and I

want to talk about what I mean by that, but

I do see where they’re coming from, is that if

you break writing down to a formula, so to speak,

it essentially is an algorithm.

And this is where I would agree

with this author as well too.

Is that’s kind of where I was when I was

thinking through citing sources and pulling information from where?

And is AI essentially an author?

Can it become an author like chat GPT?

What’s the difference between Chat GPT

writing something and me writing something?

Chances are we’re going through a similar process.

We’re going to do research, we’re going

to create outlines, that type of thing.

The difference is the technology is doing

it ridiculously faster than I am.

So that’s really what it broke down to for me.

It’s pulling information from different sources.

It’s arguably learning.

Like when I was going to school a million

years ago, what they would talk to you about

is you needed to paraphrase, you couldn’t just plagiarize

and all this other type of stuff.

You got to cite your sources and whatnot.

And I understand all of that, but the thing

that always was questionable for me was like, well,

what’s the difference between me just reading and learning

and kind of like paraphrasing, so to speak, versus

taking that information and sharing it.

It seemed very similar to me.

So to me there appeared to be quite a bit of gray area.

So if you look at it at a fundamental

level in terms of what writing is, I would

100% completely agree that it’s an algorithm and the

process that’s followed by humans probably very similar to

these language models like Chad GPT.

As such, the results that are produced probably

are of equal, if not greater quality and

done remarkably faster and more efficiently than a

human who could ever do it.

So that brings me to the next question,

which is, if that’s the case, then what

does the future of writing actually look like?

So as I asked myself this question and started

doing research down another rabbit hole here in terms

of what does the future of writing look like,

I realized that ultimately what it really boils down

into is will writers in the current format in

which they exist essentially survive?

And that was a more difficult question to answer.

But I would still fall back on what has

largely been the case when any new revolutionary technology

has made its way to the open market, in

that it doesn’t essentially necessarily eliminate everything the way

that we did it before.

It usually just changes it.

As in if you want to prepare yourself as best

as possible for surviving or remaining doing the work that

you love or the way that you do it, the

chances are you need to get comfortable with it evolving

in terms of you figuring out how to leverage the

technology to do significantly better than you did before.

As that leap forwarded, technology makes things

that previously were not possible, possible.

You need to figure out how to become trained

and educated on it so that you can leverage

it in order to reach a different level of

performance than before was ever possible without that technology.