There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the power of AI and what it can do.
Especially with the recent 3.5 release of Open AI’s ChatGPT.
Q: Should writers be afraid of AI?
The MidJourney prompt for the featured image on this post was “Should writers be afraid of AI?” and while this particular result wasn’t that impressive, when I asked the Open AI chat the same question, the answer was frighteningly good.
It’s pasted below, but the TL;DR is yes.
A college professor acquaintance says AI is capable of writing papers worthy of an A- grade. That’s better than most people.
And faster. All the prompts I’ve been testing have taken mere seconds to generate a response.
If it’s already this good, what kind of jobs are at risk? More specifically, will there still be a role for writers (like me) in the near future?
Forbes Magazine says “AI is not going to replace writers anytime soon,” but this article was published 6 months before the most recent ChatGPT release.
That’s a lifetime the way things are going. And I think they might be wrong.
I asked it to write me short stories, a novel, screenplays, character descriptions, interviews with fictitious people, and a whole myriad of other things that would have taken me hours if not days to create, and it did them all nearly instantly.
And really, really well. Sure, they all needed editing and proofreading, but everything written does.
A two-year study by Mckinsey indicates that intelligent agents and robots could replace up to 30% of the world’s current workforce by 2030. And that around 400-800 million jobs could be displaced by then, forcing nearly 375 million people to retrain and look for other kinds of work.
On the other side, Will Robots Take My Job? seems to think writers only have an 8% chance of being replaced and that our jobs are “totally safe.”
A prevailing opinion seems to be that, humans win when it comes to creativity, humour, and clever wordplay. For now.
I hope that stays true.
But I remember when chess champion, Garry Kasparov played IBM’s Deep Blue, and won. Humanity cheered. We mattered. Then they played again and tied, and in a third match, Kasparov lost – in 19 moves.
A few years later Google’s Alpha Go project beat all the Go world champions and we realised the machine was smarter than us. But at least it was only one machine built to play one obscure game.
Now, an entirely new level of intelligence is on every and any machine – or will be. And it’s as good or better than most of us at nearly everything.
And it’s going to get a lot better. Fast.
GPT version 3 has 175 billion parameters. Version 4 is coming in early 2023 and will likely have 100 trillion parameters. That’s around 500x more powerful.
As a multipotentialite and someone with a broad skillset, I’m cautiously optimistic.
AI’s role in writing and creativity is inevitable, so I’m choosing to keep a positive perspective. And I’m excited about all the new jobs AI could create that don’t exist yet.
These could include nonlinear storytelling, writing for Augmented Reality, gaming, the metaverse and more.
And if you’ve played around with AI tools like ChatGPT, MidJourney, or Dall-E, then you know that inputs are everything.
It takes a certain mastery of art, design, and language – and how to put words and ideas together – not to mention life experience and wisdom, to get the best results out of these tools.
So perhaps instead of writers, we’ll become “Prompt Shepherds” or “Input Directors.”
Either way, there’s a lot to learn, a lot to be excited about, and maybe a little to fear. If you’re a writer (or anything else) you better start upskilling now.
Sash MacKinnon of Mino Games has a whole team of people dedicated to discovering new ways to use AI. He told me “AI will compress 500 years of learning into one year – next year.”
If he’s right, that gives us 365 days to get comfortable with AI and what it can do.
And what it can’t.
Q: Should writers be afraid of AI?
A: (Written by Open AI) Whether or not writers should be afraid of AI depends on how they view the potential impact of AI on their profession. On the one hand, some writers may be concerned that AI will eventually be able to write as well or better than humans, potentially leading to job losses and other negative consequences. On the other hand, others may see AI as a tool that can enhance and support their work, rather than replace it.
It is true that AI has the potential to automate certain writing tasks, such as data analysis and summarization, which could potentially lead to job losses in the writing industry. However, it is unlikely that AI will be able to completely replace human writers, at least in the foreseeable future. Writing is a complex and creative task that requires a deep understanding of language, culture, and human emotions, which AI systems currently lack.
In fact, some writers may find that AI can actually enhance and support their work. For example, AI-powered writing tools and platforms can help writers to generate ideas, organize their thoughts, and improve their writing style and grammar. AI can also help writers to research and analyze data, which can provide valuable insights and support for their work.
Overall, whether or not writers should be afraid of AI depends on how they view the potential impact of AI on their profession. While it is true that AI has the potential to automate certain writing tasks, it is unlikely to replace human writers completely. Instead, writers can choose to see AI as a tool that can enhance and support their work, rather than a threat to it.
If you want a user-friendly intro to Open AI’s ChatGPT, then this article about The Largest Neural Network Ever Created is a good place to start.