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  • Writer's pictureFannie Price

Asking for a Friend - Artificial Intelligence

With AI being in everyone’s mouths these past few months, especially for us creative types, I’m curious where you land on the subject. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle road in the creative community. People either love it because they think it can provide quick results for profits, or they’re completely against it. Where do you fall in the spectrum and is AI something you’d ever consider using for your writings?
Carla G.

Hola Carla,

I’ve received your question in similar form a couple of times outside of the Asking for a friend forum, not so much from a writing perspective, but more in a common day to day conversation/small talk. I agree with you, many I have talked with also see in black and white. AI is either great or the beginning of The Terminator, which, let’s face it, might not be far off from the truth. I’ve seen enough rogue computer / artificial intelligence movies to know this could be how it starts. The result of these random conversations has given me time to think about AI in my writing life. Is it something I’d ever use? The short answer is yes, within reason.

I’m young enough to remember the days when papers were written on a typewriter or word processor at home. The days of printing out Map Quest, or if you truly felt adventurous… breaking out the road atlas (side note: there is still something to be said about road atlases. I used one on my trip to New Mexico last month for a more direct route then Google or Apple Maps). I say all this to say our tools improve and get better over time. They are created to make life easier, but of course you are always going to have those that abuse them.

To me, AI falls into this category.

For those that don’t know me, know me… I love technology. I wouldn’t say I’m an early adopter. For the most part I keep my eye on what’s new, but leave it to other people to experience and work out the kinks (there are a few exceptions). Like all other tools of technology, AI has its place among them. I don’t think it should take the place of humans. My personal philosophy that I apply to myself and only myself is the potential to use AI exists in circumstances when I wouldn’t pay someone for their services.

3rd party editing (structural/copy/line/etc…) – not at all!!! I believe human eyes editing novels is just as important to the novel as human brains writing them. Nor would I want to take this paid work away from someone.

Self-editing – partially. Running a program tells me how many explicit language words are used, possible cliches, repetitive phrases, adverbs, adjectives, and passive verbs I have in my story, as well as the dialogue v. narrative ratio faster than me doing it on Microsoft Word or Scrivener which is what I currently do. I’m not paying anyone for this work and potentially end up giving time back to myself.

Cover design – NOPE! I license the illustrations used in my covers and I also enjoy the creative process of blending them to create unique designs.

Book blurbs – partially to enhance my own words. Book blurbs and loglines for my novels and short stories have been something I create myself. Recently, I dropped a blurb I created into an AI blurb generate. The results were not too far off from the original, but there were some word choices and phrases it spat out that really hit home. I incorporated those results with what I had already written. In short, I feel like I bedazzled my book blurb.

Writing – N to the O!! I enjoy writing. Even though it kicks my butt sometimes, I wouldn’t want AI to take that away from me. I also feel like I’d be lying to my readers if I publish a novel / short story that was written (even in part) by AI, and not pulled out of my warped mind. As a fiction writer, I feel it is my responsibility to come up with my own words/voice, not to have AI generate a story based on phrases or a genre and “tweak” what comes out.

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