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Writing in a world with ChatGPT

Writing in a world with ChatGPT


By Dan Rasmus, Serious Insights

Several jobs and their associated skills face existential threats from automation. Conventional wisdom, and assertions from inventors, almost always focus on automating activities that detract from the human experience by removing physical burdens or eliminating mind-numbing tedium. Automation frees humans, it is argued; it unleashes them from subsistence and allows them to better create, to more effectively, and more freely, do those things that remain utterly and uniquely human.

The latest round of AI, however, overreaches its ambitions by impinging on very human activities such as art and writing. In the name of eliminating the burden of copywriting, commercial tools like Jasper suggest AI can write blogs and advertising copy with the same competency as a human being.

As a writer, I can affirm that writing is not a burden. I have never looked to automation to do anything other than find and replace text or suggest the proper use of a comma. If writing is a burden, hire a writer, not a robot.

AI now targets not just jobs for which people have spent their lives training but avocations that have become vocations. Jobs that weeks or months ago would be considered on the side of utterly and uniquely human.

Writers may complain, but most writers I know would love nothing more than for the world to recognize their value and pay enough for their words that they could make a living. Some of us do, perhaps not purely by words alone, but certainly through words. Industry analysts and content creators make their living by transforming ideas into words, as do marketing professionals, lawyers, and management consultants, to name a few.

At the end of this post, I share a ChatGPT post about the future of work written as me by ChatGPT. ChatGPT not only copied my writing style, but I would also argue that it inappropriately appropriated a phrase with which I was associated at Microsoft, The New World of Work.

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