Just to be clear, an AI program didn’t write this post. I did. This flesh-and-bone, goofy, dog-loving, afraid-of-heights writer with a quirky imagination and a constant, burning desire to create and embody who l really am beyond any labels or definitions.
I’ve been reading some interesting discussions about AI programs like ChatGPT being used to generate poems and stories for people. Or being used as brainstorming or editing tools. I’ve read about a well-known fiction magazine suddenly deluged by poorly written stories that the editors believe were AI created. I’ve read concerns about AI taking over the entire writing profession, reducing opportunities for business writers, fiction & nonfiction writers, poets, screenwriters, and anyone else with something to share in written form.
I don’t believe AI can do this, not really. And the reason is simple. Authenticity.
Writers, myself included, often spend a long, long time trying to discover or recognize our unique authentic voice. It’s that intangible thing that makes my writing sound like me and not someone else. Very often, it’s the thing we recognize in good writing that hooks us and keeps us wanting more from a particular author.
A writer’s authentic voice is a vital means of connection. For example, my novel is nearly finished and in the hands of beta readers right now. That novel is an expression of me, of who I am, of all I’ve experienced, all I’m interested in, and all I feel, think, and believe. This, in book form, is what I will publish and put out into the world. On the other side of things, there are readers who will take in that offering, and by reading it, have a different kind of human experience.
Add to that the energetic element. There’s the fact that the novel I wrote also came through me. It’s an expression of not just human-me, but also of divine-me. It’s THAT energetic expression/connection that I also want to share, and it’s that energetic experience that I hope eventual readers will have for themselves.
Can an AI do that? Offer that? Not even close.
It’s well-known that we tribal humans crave connection. When I pick up a book, I want to see inside the writer’s heart. I want to get lost in the story, the world, and the characters they’ve created out of the uniqueness of who they are. There’s magic in that. I ache for that magic and think that most people probably do as well. I don’t believe that this kind of ache or hunger can be satisfied by work that is an AI synthesis or approximation of the living, breathing human experience.
This morning I was called to be an even greater “champion for authenticity.” I like that phrase. It may sound like a bit of a whim, but it’s actually perfect timing. While I’ve been reading about AI and writers, I’ve also been working on my nonfiction book, The Game of Authentic Life for Writers, and developing a course on the same topic. (I’ll talk more about this soon, so stay tuned. And if you know anyone else who you think might be interested, have them hop onto my free mailing list here.)
AI, like technologies of all kinds, is here to stay. AI will continue to evolve and intersect with our lives. But I feel like it’s yet another call for us to embrace the power of our own authenticity, become its champion on whatever level feels right, because the bond between us and the entire living world, the need and hunger for this connection, is also here to stay.
Radiantly, Authentically Yours,
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Interesting insightful article. I totally agree with you. Being a programmer I see AI just software written by a programmer. It’s not magic. Granted it’s quite sophisticated, but it’s not human.