The End of Originality

I love hearing about the new options available with the rapidly advancing AI (artificial intelligence), such as ChatGPT. Every week I receive emails from a different company trying to sell me products based on generative AI. It seems the potential and opportunities for incorporating this new technology is limitless.

A few weeks ago I used ChatGPT to help me write part of a job description. I did several searches and selected the best results to get something close to what I needed. Then I did some customizing. I have to confess, the jump start was pretty nice, especially for something I don’t do regularly. Completing 80% of the work completed with a few simple search queries was efficient.

I enjoyed using ChatGPT to help me out. After, I spent a bit of time fantasizing about other jobs for this kind of an “assistant.” While it is tempting to think about ChatGPT (or equivalent) one day helping me churn out blog postings or chunks of my resume, I had to wonder, is this the end of originality? If ChatGPT analyzed my whole blog (over 10 years of postings) and started churning out similar-sounding posts, would it still be my work? Would my originality and creativity still be a part of it? Even if I customized the end result, most of it would have been crafted by a machine.

I’ve been following the writers’ strike off and on for a few weeks. I know one issue mentioned writers wanting some protection with respect to new technologies introduced. Many writers, understandably, may feel afraid that the technology will replace them.

For example, similar to my experience where about 80% of my job description task was handled by technology, the same thing could happen in a writing studio. The technology, ChatGPT or equivalent, could churn out a script. A reduced number of writers could handle the customizing, reducing the need for so many writers. Additionally, the technology would be able to imitate different writing styles. All the technology needs is samples of a certain style (e.g., James Cameron, Nora Ephron) to create something similar. In my mind, this eliminates some of the true essence of having humans behind the creation. I don’t think we can ever predict how somebody will interpret something, given the chance. But a machine… it’s always learning. But can it learn to be creative on its own?

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