Authors Using AI: Good or Bad?
I’m sure we’ve all heard something about AI in the news and around social media lately, and it’s bound to create a lot of confusion and strong feelings, no matter which side of the fence you fall on.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably entertained some big ideas, like the Terminator coming to take out the world and some world-ending, apocalyptic visions all stemming from a computer program going rogue, and while I’m not saying that won’t happen (I do love me some fantasy!), I will say…wait a minute. What if AI isn’t here to commit global destruction? What if…and bear with me here… What if it can be used for good instead of evil? Let’s unpack this a bit, shall we?
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that AI isn’t exactly new, and in the right hands, it could be a really handy tool with hundreds, if not thousands, of useful applications. Even now, writing this blog post, there is a certain amount of AI integrated into the system giving me suggestions on conciseness and correcting typos along the way. Without delving too deep into all of its potential applications, let’s focus on AI when applied to writing. And no, I’m not talking about some of those stories we’ve heard about so-called writers using this programming to do all the hard work for them. I’m talking about a tool that has the potential to help further your writing by taking it to the next level. Let’s check out some of the potential benefits of using AI.
While AI may never replace editing (I sure hope not!), one of the most basic and fundamental features of AI writing tools is their ability to identify and correct grammar and spelling errors in your writing. In fact, you’ve likely already used some tools to do just that. Grammarly, Hemingway, and ProWritingAid come to mind. Programs like these, while no substitute for the human eye and skill, can quickly and accurately detect many errors in your writing and provide suggestions for corrections.
2. Increased Efficiency
As a writer, you know that the writing process can be a time-consuming and sometimes tedious task. However, AI tools have the potential to streamline your writing process and increase your efficiency. Just today, I was playing with one such tool and was able to create an outline using my ideas that I input into the task bar. Imagine, an outline for your next novel, all based on your original ideas, generated in a matter of moments! Again, it’s not foolproof and it’s hardly a polished result. There are many areas that a practiced eye can see more work needs to be done to produce a polished product, but it easily cut the time (and brain power) it would normally take in half. The same goes for other things you might need help with. Looking for a character name? Instead of combing baby name books and census records, ask AI. Need a unique name for some obscure fictional town? Ask AI! Even if you don’t use its suggestions, these can serve as jumping-off points that get your creative juices flowing.
3. Enhanced Creativity
We all know that writing is often a tedious and solitary craft, and unless you have the incredible benefit of being a part of a writers group or a circle of friends you can bounce ideas off of, then you’re bound to hit the dreaded writer’s block a time or two (or ten!), and this is where AI can come in handy. With a few simple ideas and/or questions, AI can help you generate some fresh ideas.
4. Improved Research
Let’s face it, you’ve spent a lot of time combing the internet for resources to help you get that scene just right. In a lot of writing, getting those details right is critical, and it had the potential of taking you out of the creative process and sparking that dreaded writer’s block. Why not streamline the process by leveraging AI’s unique ability to quickly and easily scour the vast resources at its “fingertips” to deliver you answers in a matter of seconds and get you back on the writing track in no time flat.
5. Personalized Writing Assistance
AI writing tools can provide personalized writing assistance based on your specific writing style and preferences. For example, some programs can analyze your writing and provide feedback on things like tone, readability, and even the emotional impact of your writing. Imagine how beneficial this could be to helping writers develop a deeper level of writing that connects with their readers in ways they had always hoped but hadn’t been able to achieve.
At the end of the day, AI isn’t something that we need to fear (yet) and when used responsibly, it can have a wonderful impact and be a fantastic tool in our daily lives. So if you haven’t already tried it, I encourage you to check it out.
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