A career in writing has never been viewed as simple, but in the last year, a debate has emerged, causing a striking change in how authors approach their careers. With the increasing use and accessibility of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, everything that makes a creator unique has been called into question. No longer simply used for calculations and technical fields, AI writing tools such as ChatGPT are constantly expanding in their widespread use.
The use of AI is not intrinsically wrong, but many people have been growing concerned in the last few years that artificial intelligence is beginning to take jobs from humans. This has reached a new level of severity recently, in that not only traditionally algebraic jobs are being given to computers, but creative ones now too. Where AIs were used for just the creation of technical outlines, they are now being used to create the art itself, whether it be writing or a different creative medium, such as art or illustrations. The morals of this practice are questionable at best, detrimental at worst.
AI does not create, in the traditional sense.
Humanity unfortunately, or fortunately, is drawn to ease, which is the appeal of AI use. Creative skills in particular take time and effort to build, and no one becomes an impeccable artist or talented writer in one day, even if there is some predilection toward the art. Skills take patience and devotion, and for many, as AI becomes more and more “endorsed,” using technology becomes the quicker and more appealing course of action.
No one becomes an impeccable artist or talented writer in one day. Skills take patience and devotion . . . using technology becomes the quicker and more appealing course of action.
However—and this does provide some hope for the parts of the creative community that see AI as a threat, rather than a tool—the strength of the technology could be its downfall. The way the creation side of AI works is somewhat of a sham, since AI does not create, in the traditional sense. It simply draws from a database of the already existing art, be it visual art or writing, and reforms it to fit the command parameters it is given. What it produces is a mixture of what has already been produced. And as more and more people use AI, the more of the database it draws from is taken up by its own “work.” The crux of the issue is that AI simply does not have the skill level to produce the nuance that a human can. So, while AI works look and feel impressive from a distance, the more you inspect them, the more apparent it is that they have not been created by a living being. The work is less detailed, and as it draws more from itself, the level of nuance becomes less and less. The hope among the community is that it will eventually become so shallow that it no longer passes as art.
As more and more people use AI, the more of the database it draws from is taken up by its own “work.”
Where the issue lies is that for people outside of the creative community, the level of detail they experience is not a priority. As long as they are reasonably happy with what they are looking at or reading, how much does it matter that the work is not as in depth as a human created work? For companies, it certainly does not matter, as so much of the capitalist world is centered around getting the most out of the least resources. If faced with the decision to choose an expensive commission of a human to create an ad or slogan or write-up, or the choice to have an AI do it for free—even if the end product is not quite as lovely as a human created work might be—a company focused on profit will continue choosing the AI.
That is where human voices come into play. The movie and television worlds are weathering an ongoing strike by writers to ensure better wages in the oncoming years. The movement is widespread, gaining awareness and support from across the world. When writers work together raising their voices for causes they agree or disagree with, they can cause change. This is a crucial time to make such a move, to ensure that the writing and creative industry as a whole does not suffer from AI influence more than it already has.
As creatives, we need to support each other and ensure that people outside our own community understand the severity of the issue.
Reach out to your community, raise awareness. Humans may like convenience, but they also care about their own. As creatives, we need to support each other and ensure that people outside our own community understand the severity of the issue. Talk to your friends, family, your peers, anyone who will listen. Art is crucial to humanity, and we cannot let the world forget.