Worried A.I. will replace fiction writers?

Will A.I. Replace Fiction Writers?

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Will A.I. Replace Fiction Writers?

Are you concerned–will A.I. replace fiction writers?


Go ahead and type “Will AI” into your search box. I’ll wait.


Look at all the fear.


(If you’ve been around my website for any length of time, you know I write a lot about fear.)


And, like so many other people right now, you may be wondering:


“How can I compete against A.I.?”

Here’s the good news–you don’t have to compete!


I know you may not believe me, but let me suggest one way to prove my point. Why don’t you try to generate a short story using AI, and then comment below and let me know what you think about the finished piece.


This is going to be interesting 😉


Here are a few reasons I’m not as concerned as many writers. Listen to what people said about these other technologies:


“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” — William Orton, President of Western Union – 1876


“Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – Darryl Zanuck, co-founder of 20th Century Fox, 1946


“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943


“I predict the internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” – Robert Metcalfe, Founder of 3 Com, 1995


“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 2007 


And each of those technologies also garnered a lot of doomsday predictions when they were first rolled out.

What I’m saying is simply this: we’re terrible at predicting how new technologies will be utilized.


I’m old enough to remember sending my first email (what will happen to all the postal workers’ jobs?), logging on to dial-up internet (people will retreat to their homes and atrophy in their chairs…okay, that’s a fair one), and using my first Nokia cell phone to send a text (a cute novelty but not much practical use). And while Nikola Tesla made some banger predictions before he fell in love with a pigeon, the rest of us just don’t have that kind of vision.


Use A.I. as a Tool in Your Writing

A.I. tools are already a creativity multiplier. If you’re a creative person, I’m sure you’ve had the experience of reaching your limits long before you’ve been able to bring your vision into reality with any satisfaction. “If I could find a way to __________, then I’d be able to ______________.”


Here are some frustrations I’ve had that I’m anticipating A.I. will help me solve:


  • Illustrations for children’s books. I’m not anti-artist. That said, it’s been difficult to find an illustrator for a picture book project I’m developing. I can “draw” but I’m NOT an illustrator. The several artists I’ve approached about the project are unavailable for my timeframe or outside of my budget. I’d LOVE to hire an illustrator in the future, but it won’t be for this book.


  • An app for writers. I won’t go into too much detail, here, but I have an idea for an app to help my people (that’s you) write and share their stories. Uh, have you priced a custom software app lately..? Even the click and drag app builders are prohibitively priced for the beginner. You know me–I’m an eternal amateur, always dabbling in something new. I’m also big on trying, failing and figuring stuff out quickly. And while I’m open to applying for a grant to fund this idea, I’m a writer, not a developer. The more time I devote to figuring out software, the less time I spend on writing. A.I. would be a big help.


  •  A Brainstorm buddy. Sometimes I get stuck in a novel, even if I’ve planned the plot. Maybe I’m obtuse, but I can get hung up on literally moving a character from one setting to another. Pre-A.I., I’d take a hike (not figuratively–in the woods, with boots and bugs) and talk aloud to myself. “Okay, how will ________ make it to ________ by the end of August so he can be in the right place for the meteor shower?” And I’d wait for the Muse aka my subconscious to burp up some sort of insight to help. Now I can use Chat GPT to bounce ideas…and it bounces back. Not always ideally, but enough to help. I still like to hike, but I live in a rainforest (not much of an exaggeration) so now I have an instant idea partner.




So…This Isn’t the End of Civilization?

Well, who knows, really?


But here’s something I do know: you and I are storytellers. If this is the end, it’s our job to tell stories. Period.


And we’ll tell them using whatever media and tools at our fingertips. If civilization tanks, give me a sharpish stick and I’ll write in the dirt, carve with rocks and paint with mud if I have to do it.


Until then? I love you, writer, and I’m so GRATEFUL. I’m grateful for this little glowing box that lets me talk to you. I have a full belly, a sheltered bed, and friends who love me. I have all I need to tell stories that encourage people. And that’s what I’ll do.


Tell stories with me.


NOW YOU: Still anxious? Let me know in the comments. What’s on your mind?


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