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AI as a Writing. Tool

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angelslayah
(@angelslayah)
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As an academic, I can tell you that developments in AI text generation are causing a certain amount of panic. True to form, teachers are concerned about cheating. My great hope is that the advent of such tools will finally prompt the long-overdue shift in education from product, toward process!

As a writer, I feel like the subject deserves our attention, and a place in the Craft, Talent, Technique thread of the forum.

I visited 
https://app.neuro-flash.com/aiWriter
and prompted the AI with the following: 

An ape with telekinetic powers pilots an atomic spaceship to Alpha Centauri. Along the way she falls in love with one of the frozen, human, passengers.

This was its first response:

My name is Koko, and I am an ape with telekinetic powers. I was born on a planet orbiting a star in the Alpha Centauri system, and my life has been one of adventure ever since. I was just a young ape when I first discovered my telekinetic abilities. I remember vividly the day that I used them to move objects for the first time. My father was so proud of me, and he immediately began teaching me how to control and focus my powers. It wasn't long before I was using my powers to do all sorts of things, like piloting atomic spaceships. And it was on one of these ships that I met the love of my life, a frozen human passenger named John.
As our ship hurtled through space towards our destination, I couldn't help but feel drawn to John. There was something about him that was so special, and eventually I realized that I had fallen in love with him. Although I knew that it would never be possible for us to be together in the traditional sense, I didn't let that stop me from loving him with all of my heart.

This is its second:

The ape with telekinetic powers had been alone on the atomic spaceship for so long that she had almost forgotten what it was like to feel love. But when she found one of the frozen, human passengers aboard the ship, she couldn't help but feel a deep connection to him. As the two of them journeyed together towards Alpha Centauri, they slowly fell in love with each other. Though they knew that their relationship could never be fully realized due to their different forms, they cherished every moment they had together. In the end, as they gazed upon the beautiful alien world that was their destination, they knew that they had found something special in each other that would last forever.

A couple of observations: 
1. I feel like my prompt has more of an AI generated "feel" than the replies themselves. I literally ran a sort of program in my head, like a Mad Lib:
• A _noun_ with _super power_ etc. etc ——
If you haven't built a similar scenario output machine in your own head, I recommend getting one! 

2. The texts generated miss out on (at least) one crucial element of storytelling: Delay.
Perhaps because they don't expect to go on for very long, they each get to the points of the prompt rather directly, with none of the resistance crucial to narrative.

I should mention that I don't intend this analysis as any kind of comfort for writers banging it our on their own —I'm sure these systems will evolve rapidly!

Thoughts?

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : December 23, 2022 8:02 pm
Alex Harford and Anna X reacted
Alex Harford
(@alexh)
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I've played around with ChatGPT, and the fiction it creates is very generic. I doubt machine learning is going to come up with original ideas and put that into a professionally publishable story any time soon. It'll struggle with many nuances that make a good story, like the resistance you mentioned. Some of the output was good for laughs (e.g. with a few inputs, I prompted it to write a flash fiction about a group of my friends that made us laugh, but partly because the narrative jumped about).

The non-fiction output is very dry, repetitive, often obvious, and gets facts wrong. I've found it good for summarising books, both fiction and non-fiction, though even there it gets things wrong. If ChatGPT is all students use to cheat, they'll be caught out. Facts need verifying and text needs rewriting. If five out of fifty students handed an essay in written from text prompt output, I'm pretty sure it'd be obvious to the teacher. It wouldn't prepare students for exams either (though I am with you on process in education).

Machine learning is trained on "Big Data" which often leads to issues - what the masses think rather than individuals or nuanced views. Training data often creates output that comes across as racist, sexist etc. I tweeted about the system Google use for their SafeSearch earlier this year, and pictures of women are much more likely to be considered "Racy" whereas pictures of men never were in my sample, but were much more likely to be highlighted as "Violence": https://twitter.com/AlexHarfordSEO/status/1493579016711942146

It will get better, but I don't think A.I. going to replace good writers any time soon, although it's worth writers investigating as there are ways it can help.

ChatGPT is estimated to cost OpenAI up to US$8million a month to run, but think of all the data from all the people using it that are helping to improve the systems!

I used ChatGPT to write simple PHP code for my website that was error-free.

The art generation is capable of some very good results, and I think it will take artists' jobs. Sadly the law never keeps up with technology, and it's stealing artists' styles, which I think should be considered theft. Throughout history, artists have 'stolen' from other artists, but the scale and ease machine learning does it is frightening.

(edited to updated the OpenAI cost fact, as I found out the reliable source was not so reliable after all and humans make errors too)

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM HM HM HM | 39: HM HM HM SHM | 40: HM R SHM SHM | 41: R
4 SHM / 12 HM / 8 R

 
Posted : December 27, 2022 4:08 pm
Anna X and angelslayah reacted
Alex Harford
(@alexh)
Posts: 292
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On a related note, I've just seen a post here I think was written by A.I. They're fun to spot. I've seen a few over the past 2-3 years, but it's best not to jump to conclusions in case they're not A.I. written. And there could be genuine situations like a non-native English speaker wanting to contribute and using A.I. to write posts and replies.

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM HM HM HM | 39: HM HM HM SHM | 40: HM R SHM SHM | 41: R
4 SHM / 12 HM / 8 R

 
Posted : December 27, 2022 4:33 pm
angelslayah
(@angelslayah)
Posts: 244
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Topic starter
 

Posted by: @alexh

fiction it creates is very generic

I think i's being used as a plotting tool. Interesting article:

https://www.theverge.com/23520625/chatgpt-openai-amazon-kindle-novel

 

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : December 27, 2022 7:00 pm
Anna X and Alex Harford reacted
Alex Harford
(@alexh)
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Posted by: @angelslayah

Posted by: @alexh

fiction it creates is very generic

I think i's being used as a plotting tool. Interesting article:

https://www.theverge.com/23520625/chatgpt-openai-amazon-kindle-novel

 

Interesting indeed. When I tried to get it to write in the style of a particular author (like Stephen King or Ursula K. le Guin) it spewed out similar rubbish each time.

Using it for blurbs is the kind of thing I found it occasionally useful for.

I think there's a danger that if every author overused it for anything (even plotting), it'd dampen their creativity, and we'll end up with nothing original ever again. The big companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple want to control our lives with A.I; telling us what to wear, eat, listen to etc. That's the eventual aim. Not a spoiler because it's the start, but the kind of thing that happened in Ken Liu's story that was published 13 years ago: https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-perfect-match/

I like this quote from Jess Peck: "The current level of response from GPT-Chat is amazing. I’ve argued that it is probably about the same level as a low-effort human being. But that’s just it-- we already have low effort content out there. Don’t you want to make something good?"
https://jessbpeck.com/posts/artificialintelligence/

 

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM HM HM HM | 39: HM HM HM SHM | 40: HM R SHM SHM | 41: R
4 SHM / 12 HM / 8 R

 
Posted : December 28, 2022 1:18 pm
angelslayah and Anna X reacted
angelslayah
(@angelslayah)
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If we look at the history of tech, tho, this stuff is bound to get better. I'll wager, at some point a screenplay or a piece of music or a short story generated by an AI will move you to tears...

No?

 

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : December 28, 2022 3:59 pm
Anna X reacted
storysinger
(@storysinger)
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Just keep checking the 'I am not a robot' box. After all, we are only human.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM x5
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts
Silver Ships

 
Posted : December 28, 2022 5:27 pm
(@annax)
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When I used it, all it did was seriously bloat the things I already said. So, if my input was "man dancing on moon saves family of moon bears", it would continuously talk about how the man on the moon saved moon bears and everyone was happy and great. There's no dialogue, no actual thought or emotion into it at all.

Until AI is sentient AI (which defeats it being AI because by definition, AI is supposed to be sentient), then I doubt we have to worry at all!

~ I honestly believe that good stories write themselves. You can always start writing a story, but the characters tell their own tales and if you're lucky enough, you get to merely be in the audience watching everything unfold. ~ 8/1/2022
***
WotF - 2022, V39 Q4: R
WotF - 2022/2023, V40 Q1: HM; Q2: HM; Q3: HM; Q4:HM

 
Posted : December 28, 2022 6:39 pm
angelslayah reacted
Alex Harford
(@alexh)
Posts: 292
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@AnnaX You can request dialogue. Generally results are better with more instructions, which makes it arguable who's writing the story after all. 😀

Posted by: @angelslayah

If we look at the history of tech, tho, this stuff is bound to get better. I'll wager, at some point a screenplay or a piece of music or a short story generated by an AI will move you to tears...

No?

If so I think it'll have had direct human assistance, and A.I. won't do something on it's own without massive plagiarism.

 

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM HM HM HM | 39: HM HM HM SHM | 40: HM R SHM SHM | 41: R
4 SHM / 12 HM / 8 R

 
Posted : December 29, 2022 2:08 pm
angelslayah and Anna X reacted
angelslayah
(@angelslayah)
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Topic starter
 

@alexh I am currently stealing from two fabulous sources, so I'm not sure what to make of your "plagiarism" 

@annax visual artist friends of mine are getting into writing python scripts for AI systems. I think what these things are missing is a complete UI. Then you'll get results!

Keep in mind, folks, this stuff is brand new. Give it 19 years... Hell, give it SIX!

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : December 29, 2022 8:55 pm
storysinger reacted
Alex Harford
(@alexh)
Posts: 292
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Posted by: @angelslayah

@alexh I am currently stealing from two fabulous sources, so I'm not sure what to make of your "plagiarism" 

From a human or machine perspective? From a human perspective, we all put our own spin on writing, so even if we take ideas from elsewhere, no one else would have created whatever we create. It's unique to us. And the stories (or any creative works) that are the best often have personal meaning to the creator, while machines aren't sentient.

It's the ease and scale that machines can duplicate which is where my biggest concerns about plagiarism come from. Not from us humans.

The KYD stories in Wulf's Super Secrets thread are a great example of how everyone comes up with something different from the same prompt.

I don't see that being the same with machines, although maybe there will be ways around it such as training on specific datasets. But then it'll have been a human that picked the dataset, which goes back to my point about how much of a story machine learning would actually be writing.

Either way, it'll be interesting to see how it all turns out.

 

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM HM HM HM | 39: HM HM HM SHM | 40: HM R SHM SHM | 41: R
4 SHM / 12 HM / 8 R

 
Posted : January 2, 2023 9:06 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
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I haven't tried any AI writing programs yet, but I've been listening to my stories being read to me on the Autocrit site.

I've begun using that same function in Word, and both of the AI's misuse and mispronounce common English quite frequently.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM x5
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts
Silver Ships

 
Posted : January 2, 2023 9:38 am
angelslayah
(@angelslayah)
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 All I can say is the genie is notoriously hard to get back in the bottle!

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : January 2, 2023 7:17 pm
Will Span, Todd Jones, Alex Harford and 1 people reacted
angelslayah
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Posted by: @Anonymous

word-generation tools that authors and editors can use easily?

My favorite are pretty ancient. Here's one you can try:
https://www.languageisavirus.com/creative-writing-techniques/william-s-burroughs-cut-ups.php#:~:text=Burrough s'%20cut%20up%20method%20is,from%20conventional%20forms%20of%20expression.

scroll down to "The method is simple." and take it from there. I've experimented with it extensively and never NOT got something interesting. Usually a turn of phrase or a single line... 

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : April 6, 2023 1:16 pm
jadeankh
(@jadeankh)
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Just remember to check the submission rules if you are using AI to write your story for you, because many market now state specifically No AI assisted work. That's not just WotF. 

1 R (but it's a start)
V39 Q3 RWC Q4 HM
V40 Q1 HM

 
Posted : April 6, 2023 3:58 pm
James (Ease) and Pegeen reacted
Todd Jones
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Posted by: @jadeankh

Just remember to check the submission rules if you are using AI to write your story for you, because many market now state specifically No AI assisted work. That's not just WotF. 

NOTE: I don't use AI to assist in my work.

I have seen in several markets new submission rules addressing AI. I think this is a great addition to requirements.

 

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right."~ Henry Ford
2024 - V41 - Q1-RWC (Resubmit of "HM"), Q2-Submitted, Q3-WIP, Q4-?
2023 - V40 - Q1-HM, Q2-HM, Q3-R, Q4-HM
2022 - V39 - Q1-SHM, Q2-HM, Q3-SF, Q4-HM (Resubmit of "HM")
2021 - V38 - Q4-HM (Resubmit of "R")
2020 - V37 - Q2-R

 
Posted : April 7, 2023 9:32 am
angelslayah reacted
Spencer_S
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I've heard of problems with AI generated stories. Some publications, like Clarkesworld, have been inundated with submissions that are basically old stories retooled with AI to look "new" (basically plagiarism), and it's gotten ridiculous. Unfortunately, with the advent of so-called AI, there is no shortage of people who want to take the "shortcut" to becoming a published author, as well as the toxic hustle culture of making a side gig as fast as possible without any real moral considerations. Yes, I think there are ways that AI can assist or augment the writing process, but it is a slippery slope. Likewise in many other fields. In my field of medicine, for example, it looks promising to use AI as a tool / companion to patient assessment, especially when analyzing a massive amount of information, but it should not replace the human clinician - that's stepping into very perilous territory. Either way, there's no putting the genie back in the bottle.

“Stories are the collective wisdom of everyone who has ever lived. Your job as a storyteller is not simply to entertain. Nor is it to be noticed for the way your turn a phrase. You have a very important job—one of the most important. Your job is to let people know that everyone shares their feelings—and that these feelings bind us. Your job is a healing art, and like all healers, you have a responsibility. Let people know they are not alone. You must make people understand that we are all the same.”
Brian McDonald
2022: Second Place Winner V39 Q1
2021: HM, HM, SHM
2020: R
2019: SHM, R
2018: HM
2017: HM
Check out my fiction and more at spencersekulin.net

 
Posted : April 9, 2023 11:16 am
angelslayah, Cherrie, Todd Jones and 1 people reacted
angelslayah
(@angelslayah)
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I have yet to engage ChatGPT or any of the so-called AI in my writing. 

I do want to note that when Phil Dick consulted Yi Jing on what is undeniably his best-written work —in fact, the quality of his storytelling is nowhere else quite so fine— no one thought then or thinks now that he was somehow "cheating!"

 

 

 

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : April 10, 2023 5:41 am
angelslayah
(@angelslayah)
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Posted by: @jadeankh

Just remember to check the submission rules

Whew, I almost forgot! 😘 

 

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : April 10, 2023 5:49 am
angelslayah
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Posted by: @spencer_s

(basically plagiarism)

The whole industry bears little examination on this front. Take your classic 'pitch': 

It's Rosemary's Baby meets Weekend at Bernie's! 

Yeah, like we need AI to come up with that!

© because you never know!

 

 

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : April 10, 2023 6:20 am
Spencer_S
(@spencer_s)
Posts: 168
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@angelslayah True. But I mean someone copy and pasted a published short story from a successful author and had the AI alter it a little to make it look different. That's what I mean by plagiarism.

“Stories are the collective wisdom of everyone who has ever lived. Your job as a storyteller is not simply to entertain. Nor is it to be noticed for the way your turn a phrase. You have a very important job—one of the most important. Your job is to let people know that everyone shares their feelings—and that these feelings bind us. Your job is a healing art, and like all healers, you have a responsibility. Let people know they are not alone. You must make people understand that we are all the same.”
Brian McDonald
2022: Second Place Winner V39 Q1
2021: HM, HM, SHM
2020: R
2019: SHM, R
2018: HM
2017: HM
Check out my fiction and more at spencersekulin.net

 
Posted : April 10, 2023 8:43 am
angelslayah
(@angelslayah)
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Topic starter
 

Posted by: @spencer_s

copy and pasted a published short story from a successful author and had the AI alter it

Of course, famously, ideas can't be copyrighted. Otherwise there'd be a lot of child-wizards out there ceasing and desisting... including the one with the glasses! 

 

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : April 10, 2023 12:17 pm
(@ellisael)
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It is quite a raging discussion at this point. There are some wonderful videos put out by the Social Dilemma guys at the Centre for Humane Technology about the imminent danger from AI. I prefer more low tech editing and writing tools like Write and Grammarly. 

 
Posted : May 10, 2023 11:26 pm
angelslayah reacted
Cherrie
(@clfors)
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I don’t think we need a full Butlerian Jihad but I think AI use in writing and art will just dilute an artist’s voice. 

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Author of the Primogenitor series: Cradle of Mars, Adaptation, Reunion, Schism: Available on Amazon under CL Fors

 
Posted : May 12, 2023 10:52 am
angelslayah reacted
angelslayah
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My impression is that AI will impact storytelling less than the invention of writing did, but on that order of magnitude.

@DonMarkmaker

 
Posted : May 14, 2023 10:30 pm
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V. R. Lassmann
(@vrlass)
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I tried it out.
Regardless of the style i want it to write it allways sounds like HR’ish.
In case of its own terms, I think there is a subtle beauty to it. It’s like observing a child making its own first steps. 

 
Posted : May 18, 2023 12:49 pm
angelslayah reacted
pdblake
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For those of you wanting to see how far you can go with AI, New Myths is accepting AI submissions as per their updated guidelines. 

https://sites.google.com/newmyths.com/newmyths-com-home/submissions

Personally it doesn't sit well with me. They had a story of mine on hold and I've withdrawn it because of this. I don't want anyone reading my work and thinking I didn't write it. 

R:6 RWC:1 HM:9 SHM:3
My Blog
Small Gods and Little Demons - Parsec Issue #10

 
Posted : May 25, 2023 5:00 am
Dustin Adams, angelslayah, Alex Harford and 5 people reacted
Alex Harford
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Posted by: @pdblake

For those of you wanting to see how far you can go with AI, New Myths is accepting AI submissions as per their updated guidelines. 

https://sites.google.com/newmyths.com/newmyths-com-home/submissions

Personally it doesn't sit well with me. They had a story of mine on hold and I've withdrawn it because of this. I don't want anyone reading my work and thinking I didn't write it. 

If I was editor or first reader, I'd use the A.I. labels to test how quickly I can spot if something is generative text and maybe even use it to train my own text model.

On another note, partly thanks to all the hyperbole in the media, I decided not to call it A.I. writing and instead say generative text. Basically, all ChatGPT and these other language models do is predict the probability of next words. They don't have any ability to understand whether something is true or false or even if it makes sense.

 

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM HM HM HM | 39: HM HM HM SHM | 40: HM R SHM SHM | 41: R
4 SHM / 12 HM / 8 R

 
Posted : June 5, 2023 7:43 am
pdblake
(@pdblake)
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For those who use it, which should be most people, The Submission Grinder has added a search flag to exclude those publications accepting AI submissions.

R:6 RWC:1 HM:9 SHM:3
My Blog
Small Gods and Little Demons - Parsec Issue #10

 
Posted : June 9, 2023 10:37 am
(@sazer1)
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New Member
 

Regarding your prompt and the generated responses, it's interesting to see how the AI interprets the scenario you provided. While the generated texts capture some elements of the story, they may lack the depth and nuance that can be achieved through human storytelling. The directness of the responses might be attributed to the nature of AI-generated text, which focuses on providing a coherent output rather than exploring narrative complexities.

However, it's important to note that AI systems are continually evolving, and with time, they may become more adept at incorporating elements like delay and narrative resistance into their generated texts. These advancements have the potential to assist writers in their creative process, offering new perspectives and ideas.

Ultimately, AI-generated text can be viewed as a tool that can support and inspire writers, but it shouldn't replace the craft, talent, and technique that human writers bring to the table. It's through our unique abilities and experiences that we can create narratives that resonate deeply with readers.

Thank you for sharing your observations and analysis. It's through discussions like these that we can explore the possibilities and implications of AI-generated text in the realm of storytelling.

 
Posted : June 17, 2023 4:25 am
angelslayah reacted
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