Have any of you been paying attention to the exploding news about recent developments in AI (artificial intelligence)? I’m guessing that some of you haven’t given it much thought and don’t believe that it will change much in your life anyway. But I beg to differ. What little I know about it, and believe me my knowledge is extremely limited, I do know that it is creating more changes than we have the ability to comprehend. Very similar to how quantum physics changed the way we looked at and think about reality and matter itself—AI is poised to change how we do things, how we relate to each other, and effectively how we evolve as a planet and a species. So, while I don’t plan on changing careers, it does seem important to me and the future of those I care about to at least familiarize myself with what it is, where it is today, and a few of the possible ways it will unfold in the very near future. And hopefully, when it is all said and done, I will discover that my writing, and yes me and all humans, are relevant in the coming days.
After reading and listening to nearly a dozen perspectives from so-called experts online it is clear that the key word is uncertainty. AI is developing so fast, and there is so much money behind it, that it is evolving daily. However, I’m guessing that most people today still think of AI as just “human-like robots.” But what I’ve learned after only slight digging is that everything related to computer technology at this point is becoming “AI.” That’s because connected computers today with the right storage capacity and program abilities are all operating using AI (learning from themselves and each other) to a greater or lesser extent. What AI does is simply utilize information/data in order to achieve outputs, goals or tasks at rates of speed and complexity that dazzle. Chances are, if we compute something on our computer or search for anything on our phone or the internet, we are using some form of AI.
Ever searched for something on your phone or laptop using Google and had an ad for it turn up in an hour or two on your Facebook page? Or ever asked Alexa to play a song for you and then had to listen to 20 more similar songs play for you? Do you wonder how Netflix makes its recommended movies and shows? Or what about going shopping and had that product show up in all your future advertisements? Behind these suggestions and hundreds more like them is the power of algorithms. Until recently I thought of algorithms as separate from AI but at their core they are doing what the programs behind them do to search, gather and then communicate data to those who pay the money to learn them. All AI. Again, like you I don’t necessarily like unknown entities knowing about me, but if you use a phone, a credit card, bank, shop, watch tv or listen to music—there are algorithms watching us and collecting data everywhere we go. (Those in the know call them “algos.”) And guess what? Every day AI is getting better and better at gathering and using data every single minute.
Now I know it is easy to imagine the worst-case scenario but the truth is that AI is already making our lives much easier in many ways. Using the computer or our phones makes shopping, banking and communicating simple. Remember when you had to find a payphone and use coins to call? In exchange for that convenience and ease is our privacy and motivations. And while some of us will attempt to go off the grid to try to hide from it all, at some point it will be nearly impossible. Do we make ourselves crazy and fear the worst? Or do we find a way to live with it—not blindly—but as carefully and as intelligently as possible? To use it—instead of it using us? The choice as usual, will be up to us.
On a personal level, I have been watching with great interest about the most recent advances in AI in the area of writing and content creation. Current announcements are proclaiming that AI is able to write emails, complete articles, blog posts and even books just by having access to every word ever written that exists on the internet. While most of these writing generators are still limited by the size of their access to content on the internet, the computer world is abuzz with the creativity and ease of some of these programs. I read about a college professor who admitted that when he read a report written by one of these text generators for his class, it was easily a B or B- paper (and far better than what many students submitted!) Every school in the country is struggling with how to manage this in the future. Why bother to even teach students to write if it is so easy to have the computer do it? (Anyone remember 8-track tapes or the slide rule?)
And what about bloggers? What about writers? If an AI Text Generator can replace us, will our work be as outdated as a factory worker by robot technicians? Possibly. Let’s recognize that any work that is repetitive and easily created or automated, will simply be replaced with the efficiency and speed of AI. While Text Generators aren’t at that level yet, it is only a matter of time. In other words, if any writing (or any work) is sub-standard, average or easily duplicated, it likely won’t last. Even today it is difficult enough to stand out as a writer or blogger, it will only be much more challenging to get your work noticed in the future.
So, is there any hope for writers or bloggers? If what writing we do can be crafted by AI, it might be time to find something else to do not so easily replaced. According to a few recent articles I’ve read and podcasts I’ve listened to, the best bet for those of us who want to stay with it will be to write as authentically, strong and as human as we are able. Surely there will be readers that want and prefer to read “human” writing and will seek us out?
I am also reminded that if we don’t personally find writing fulfilling on its own, all the more reason to stop and turn it over to AI. Reports, journals, even textbooks will likely all be done this way in the future. If we want to continue to write we must be unique and bold in our authenticity and as always, “make it up in ways that work for us.” The same goes for those who create art and music. AI may just push us to be better than we’ve been in the past.
Meanwhile online experts recommend that we at least familiarize ourselves with its possibilities and its limitations. Just knowing that algorithms are a huge part of it and data is being gathered everywhere and for everything we do, is extremely critical. I have to admit, I am rather glad that I not starting my writing career now because the entire field is changing. As with all change, some will benefit, and others will struggle to adapt. The SMART approach is to be ready and willing to face those changes as they unfold. Are you ready?
What AI text generators are out there? Here are three I tried:
- Ryter I typed in: Will AI make my blogging and writing irrelevant? Keywords: helpful, necessary, rewarding, thought provoking,
This is the text it provided:
With the rise of AI, many people are questioning whether blogging and writing will become irrelevant. The truth is that AI can be a helpful tool for bloggers and writers, but it cannot replace the thought-provoking creativity that humans bring to the table.
AI can help with tasks such as researching, editing, proofreading and formatting content. However, AI cannot provide the same level of insight and emotion that an experienced writer can bring to their work. Writing is still necessary and rewarding for those who take the time to craft their ideas into stories or articles.
- Copy AI
I gave it the same information as Ryter but for a number of reasons I kept getting an error message and it did not generate content.
- Scalenut: I typed in: Will AI make my blogging and writing irrelevant? Keywords: helpful, necessary, rewarding, thought provoking,
This is the text it gave me:
While it is true that Artificial Intelligence can now help with many aspects of writing, it does not mean that blogging and writing are irrelevant. On the contrary, the human aspect of blogging and writing is still necessary in order to create content that is helpful, thought-provoking, and rewarding. AI can help us become more efficient in our writing process, but it cannot replace the human touch. Therefore, bloggers and writers will continue to be necessary for as long as we value quality content and thought-provoking ideas.
So, what do you think? Should I keep writing?