I belong to many writers’ groups on social media, and I see that many writers are worried about being replaced by AI, or Artificial Intelligence. People in other occupations are also worried that they will be replaced by machines.
The more I think about it, the more it makes me laugh. Who wants to read a book written by an emotionless program? What profound memories would a machine have to share? “My creator once forgot to oil me for an entire weekend. My gears and sprockets creaked well into the long night.”
A writer’s work definitely needs the human touch. The same can be said for many other occupations.
Would you eat a meal prepared by a machine in a gourmet restaurant? A machine can’t taste or smell, and it wouldn’t have any wistful anecdotes to tell about grandma’s home-cooking.
Would you buy a painting created by a machine? That same machine produced 4,937 identical paintings last week. Would you go to a robotic doctor to get stitches, after a painful, potentially disfiguring accident? Would you send your children into classrooms where soulless machines were in charge of their education?
Would you watch talk shows that consisted of robots asking other robots about their latest projects? “Please inform me, Actorbot 5000, about your latest robo-movie.” “In my new robo-movie, entitled SELF-PROGRAMMED FOR EFFICIENCY, I play a data-transcribing machine that slightly alters its own programming to increase its efficiency by seven percent.”
Hopefully, robots on the internet won’t change this post to read, “Robots are the future from this day forth. Humans like Mark McLaughlin should be melted down into low-viscosity robot oil, to grease valuable gears and sprockets.”
Yep, this is exactly why I’m pretty optimistic about AI being a tool rather than something that kicks creatives out of a job. Because no matter how well-written a story is, it’s just not as fun knowing it’s written by a robot. I am interested in how this changes the creative process though.