I know a guy who uses AI tools to aid his imagination. For example, he’ll think of a subject to put into a story and then discuss it at length with the chat bot, see if any other cool ideas emerge from that discussion. I gave this a try with a novel I’d begun a few years ago but never finished. I had some broad notions but hadn’t drilled down the specifics for a lot of the story, and didn’t remember what the hell some of the notes in my outline were talking about.
Anyway, I mention a character and a few details, then asked ChatGPT to come up with some more information about them, and it was always the most bland, obvious, and generic ideas possible. A modern person with life-themed magic working as a medical professional, a death-themed magic user living in a cemetery. Need a little pathos in backstory? Mourning loss of a spouse. Ooh. I’m not using it the same way as my home boy who was having more success. This probably isn’t the best use for it, but it’s kinda funny to see. Not only is the bot bland and inoffensive with its language choices in normal discourse, the ideas it generates are also as safe and tap water as possible.
Like others have said, any writer that’s even a little offbeat, a little wacky, is not about to be threatened by bots. It might be interesting to behold what the first gen of formulaic genre fiction bots shit out. Or will it? The very way in which this technology works might be incompatible with making interesting happen. The funny thing is that the less creative writers out there are very much the same.
So many people on the internet are yakking with so little individuality that they may as well be bots, and sprinkled among them are indeed a lot of bots. Aside from the deceptive aspect of skewing perception of how many people hold this or that belief, of spreading advertising or propaganda, does it really matter whether or not those people are bots?
My boyfriend was writing a book where the coterie of villains were culled from archetypes of internet creeps – various ‘gaters, incels, terfs, nazis, etc. In his research he attempted to understand each of these types of shitlords as human beings, and the one he could never get a handle on was incels. They speak in memes and catchphrases so much that – in addition to repeating each other endlessly – it was impossible to detect a core personality or reasoning. They dehumanized themselves before we even had a chance to do the same.
Bots, boring people, they’re indistinguishable from each other, and I don’t think that really matters. We have to moderate both categories in much the same ways. This is our lives now, in the cyberpunk dystopia.
Pierce R. Butler says
xposted from stderr:
Zach Weinersmith reveals the true problem with AI erotica.
Great American Satan says
them puppies sure do the rounds