New Year, New Worries - Writing in the time of ChatGPT
Why I am not worried about the latest leap of AI technology
Happy New Year, dear readers! Hope the year has begun well for you.
I know that many of you who subscribe to The Coherent Writer are writers. How has 2023 treated you thus far?
Unless you live (and write) under a rock, you must have read many articles on the wonderful capabilities of ChatGPT and heard claims of how AI-generated writing will steal the jobs of writers.
As a writer, how do these doomsday predictions make you feel?
In the twenty-first century, automation has certainly improved our outer lives. With a simple swipe of the screen we can satisfy our food cravings, ease our workload and find the exact entertainment that we seek.
And now, it seems that an intelligent chatbot specifically trained to understand the human intent in a question and provide helpful answers also has the capability to replace search engines, churn out content, and change the way the world currently works. With the ability to write code and lyrical verses, ChatGPT may be the harbinger of a future that makes writers redundant.
Regardless of whether you write for a living or as a hobby, how does it feel when you are told that ChatGPT is not just better than Google for answering questions but can write comprehensive news stories and literary poems with equal ease, thereby making writers obsolete?
I am not a content creator
When I first began writing as a way to express myself, I wasn’t concerned about editors, magazines or even readers for that matter. I wrote because the simple act of writing gave me an outlet. I wasn’t writing for money or for the market.
Unlike my academic endeavors that were graded each semester and my work projects that were appraised annually, this was the first time I was creating something that wasn’t assessed for a grade or evaluated for compensation. It was unexpectedly liberating!
Only when my first published piece (in a print newspaper) was appreciated by readers who left me voicemails and sent emails did I consider sharing more of my writing with others. It was thrilling (and humbling) to find readers who enjoyed my writing and shared their own experiences.
My writing was not an offering but an invitation to a conversation that I hoped would enrich us both.
Fortunately, I don’t make a living through writing and therefore have never felt the need to write more, write to a predefined specification or seek better paying outlets for my writing. And I know this to be equally true for many fellow writers who craft stories, publish novels and run communities dedicated to writing.
They write not because it pays the bills but because writing is their creative outlet for expression. Of course, money helps. So does fame. Yet, when it comes right down to it, the very thing that defines and distinguishes a dedicated writer is not the wish to grow rich or rule the world but an unwavering desire to express their gift through their words.
If you belong to this unique group, read on and find out why you need not fear Chat GPT.
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