To AI or Not to AI—That is the Question!

 It’s the question of the ages, at least the current age, whether or not the use of AI in any form is acceptable.  I do not believe that AI should be used as a writing tool for a lot of reasons. Chief, among these, is the fact that it cannot reproduce the author’s voice, or style with any degree of accuracy. I have tested it out to see whether it can do things like generate a short story from a prompt, and, in that regard, it can do so in a minimalistic way, a very generic style, but not defeating the purpose of having an author at all. This is not to say I think it’s a bad tool, but that it needs to be used constructively and not as a cheat.

Using AI to develop story ideas, to research, and to assist in all the pieces that go into writing is acceptable. I also don’t have any issues with using AI to generate imagery to use on a blog site or a magazine, so long as it’s identified as such. In the April edition of Books & Pieces magazine, we have used AI imagery, including the cover image. This was identified on the cover and also on the inside. Since I’m not attempting to sell any imagery, it seems a benign way to fulfill the purpose.

The transformation of artificial intelligence over the last few years has been astounding. I do not doubt that even within the next year, the progress will be even more astounding. I believe at some point AI could represent the tone of an author accurately.  I say this after finding an AI-generated musical group called the AI Beatles in which AI has generated Beatles songs that have not existed prior, and with somewhat similar stylistics of the band members themselves. Is this a bad thing? It depends. On the one hand, it’s nice to hear something fresh with a somewhat Beatle sound to it, yet on the other hand, it’s quite obviously a fake.

I guess the ultimate question is whether at some point AI can replace a human being, both in looks, style, speech, and attitude, as well as actions. Will AI take away my job? That’s a bit like asking whether the automobile was going take away the employment of the horse industry at the return of the last century. Progress always inflicts damage and creates change. People must adapt.

When I look at the level of our culture now and how computers and electronics have managed to take the most incompetent person and elevate them in their ability, whether in music or art—have you seen some of the things passed off as art, recently?— I realize that is the norm of today’s society and widely accepted by a demographic that has experienced nothing better. So maybe it is not about whether something is good or bad, but whether it fits into the existing world.

At the end of the day, I will treat writing as an art form that requires skill, patience, research, and lots of practice. And maybe when AI writes the best-selling novel, and mine struggles to sell, I might think differently. But until then, I believe authors and artists should rely on their talents.

What do you think? Let me know.


~ William G.

[Note: All imagery in this post is AI-generated.]

PS: Next week the May 2024 issue of Books & Pieces Magazine is released. Our flip-page magazine now includes VIDEO!

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