Is AI a Tool or a Threat?

Tools of convenience come in many forms. I once saw a crow use a twig to wiggle a bug out of a tree. I think survival cultivates intuitive behaviour. If the bird was ambitious, it could have also used the twig for its nest.

With access to Artificial Intelligence, a synergetic opportunity presents itself. Should we embrace it or fear it? Yes and no.

Recently Hollywood writers and actors went on strike over AI-generated content. It is front and foremost in the fight about copyright and creativity.

Writers everywhere are resisting. An open letter from the Authors Guild in the United States with over 10,000 signatures made headlines. Australian Authors have also made their own voices heard.

Some of my fellow writers have expressed their concerns as well.

Writers have an important responsibility to our readers, publishers and reviewers who rely on us for trustworthy and empirical content.

I believe we have an obligation, as authors, to stand up for our writing community. The idea of embracing popularism to stack the deck to pursue a number-one best seller doesn’t sit well with me.

If authors invested in AI programs for reasons other than research, could we in all honesty look into the mirror and find a worthy individual?

It is my opinion that writers should follow their own ethical conscience concerning AI and maintain a high level of professional morals. 

By enabling AI to write novels it may be impossible to distinguish creative fiction from collective fiction. We should reevaluate where AI-generated stories may take us, then look deep into how its ramifications impact our future.

Here are some thoughts to consider where the ethics and moral compass come in, hopefully steering us in the right direction.

  1. Can AI emulate our personal writing styles?
  2. Or the individual distinctive nuances, as we are describing our favorite characters? 
  3. Or habits we admire about the characters or our own writing quirks?
  4. Will it be able to write passable imitations or a true masterpiece of literature because of how it emulates and initiates the facsimile of reality?
  5. Or would it be watering down fresh ideas as AI after all has to learn from its masters? Us!

When GPT Chat was tested for accuracy 58% of the questions asked were answered correctly. Whereas human response was 94% accurate.

The GPT Chat generated inaccurate replies, because of misconceptions it absorbed sifting the Internet for information.

The experiment showed the source programs were less accurate for the moment. But that could change.

Responsible companies that make AI programs should get consent from authors, singers, musicians, and visual artists. They must be compensated for their artistic efforts.

As a tool, AI has a probability model to predict a good response, but these stem from a human prompt or creativity in the first place. 

Two writers have discovered that certain AI programs have revealed very accurate story summaries. These authors are suing because the information seemed to be pirated from collections of their books.

To safeguard against theft or misrepresentation, it’s prudent to exclude AI from being included or introduced into authors’ contracts.

Additionally, it would be wise to find out where you stand with your publisher on the contract that you signed with them.

Recently author Nora Roberts, who also signed the Authors Guild letter was quoted, “AI can’t create human stories, without taking from human stories, already written.”

As creators, we are still in charge for the moment. But we should not be complacent.

One of an author’s rewarding experiences is being centric on book sales. Promotion requires social media, book signings, and personal appearances, as in festivals and broadcasting. AI is not capable of that in a physical sense.

Authors should rethink and make their own ethical decisions on whether to use artificial intelligence or not. Any literature that has been created with AI should be declared on your work.

In the meantime, a code of conduct or standard should be set by our writing community, as a formal guideline. A statement that writing associations and groups can stand behind, that is meaningful and relays to the public how their organizations feel concerning artificial intelligence.

Visit Peter’s Perspective often!

Is AI a Tool or a Threat?