With the spread of AI in the creative field, we give our thoughts on it and why we don’t use AI to write our stories. Or anything, for that matter.
It wasn’t long ago that I was on LinkedIn. On the front page I saw a post by another writer who loved using AI, specifically ChatGPT. He was fully championing it’s use for everyone’s writing. This perplexed me and I shared my thoughts that an AI’s writing will never be up to the caliber of a human’s writing.
“It does need editing, I’ll admit,” he said. “But it sure makes things faster, doesn’t it?”
I never responded, but it left me thinking. Dorian and I got into the writing business because we like to write. Because it was a hobby before it was a job. Because we can’t see ourselves doing anything else. We are creators in the heart and soul. Why would I want to minimize something I feel like I was born to do? Why would I want to cut out any part of that process?
Prior to being laid off last year, we both worked for a very large online game on the creative team. I launched the very first narrative arc for this game in a series of short stories. Everyone on the team took turns writing a short story a week. We remember finding the writing of one of our team members odd. Their stories were confusing, and the writing was hard to chew through. They briefly mentioned in one virtual meeting that they used a software to help them write. At the time, I didn’t realize they were talking about AI.
After being laid off, we looked for jobs. The writing field was polarizing when it came to AI. Some jobs wanted you to work with their AI to be faster. Others said they wanted “real writers” and anyone caught using AI would be terminated.
So where do we stand on all of this?
I can see the benefit of AI for people who do not know how to write. But even then, it requires editing to sound normal. For professional writers, I don’t see any reason one would need to rely on AI. And I couldn’t imagine tossing away any part of what I love to do most.
For fun, I decided to compare lines I have written in our books to the way AI would write them. Asking AI to offer me different ways to word my original work, here is what it produced.
- My original writing: “That’s just madness,” Ruuda sighed. “Gods are terrible.”
- AI’s suggestion: “It’s madness, plain and simple,” Ruuda sighed in frustration. “The whims of the gods are quite vexing.”
- My original writing: Taliesin and Ruuda walked several feet ahead of her, side by side, often exchanging looks like a silent conversation.
- AI’s suggestion: Taliesin and Ruuda, on the other hand, walked a few paces ahead of her, walking side by side. They frequently exchanged meaningful glances, conveying their thoughts through unspoken words, resembling a silent, wordless conversation.
- My original writing: The field of tall grass, bronze in the harsh sunlight, slapped across Unolé’s skin as she ran. It tugged at her legs, threatening to trip her. But she pushed on. She had to. At least until she and her sister found somewhere to hide. All that mattered now was keeping the little girl at her side safe.
- AI’s suggestion: The expansive expanse of sunlit bronze tall grass brushed against Unolé’s skin as she sprinted, its slender blades teasingly tugging at her legs, as if conspiring to make her stumble. Nevertheless, she persevered. She had no choice but to keep running, at least until she and her sister discovered a sanctuary where they could seek refuge. The paramount goal was ensuring the safety of the little girl who clung to her side.
No, we don’t use AI to write and never will. The quality is terrible and the phrasing laughable. It doesn’t have the ability to change tone in subtle ways depending on how a character is speaking. And honestly, the examples above were some of the “best” it produced. It had a hard time differentiating that we meant “gods” as in a pantheon, instead of “god” like a swear word.
But the most important reason is that we like to write. It’s fun. And I am still as puzzled today as I was the first time I read the LinkedIn post by a professional writer who wanted to use AI just to get his writing over with faster.