A few months ago my lovely dad wrote this poem for my birthday. Given the prominence of AI in the recent news agenda, I thought I’d share the ways I’ve been using it.
First, though, a reassurance- you will never find anything written by AI in any of my books! Apart from the fact it would feel like ‘cheating’, I love writing too much to hand it over to a computer.
The place I use AI is in the editing of my books, and to be honest, I’ve been using it for ages without realising. The first is in an editing program called Pro Writing Aid. This is a program that assesses grammar, punctuation, and writing style, a very useful tool that makes my proofreader’s job much easier!
I’ve also started using some new editing software called Fictionary, which looks at the ‘big picture’ structural editing; story arc, character development, pacing etc. Both Pro Writing Aid and Fictionary use AI. Both are very useful tools, but they don’t replace a human editor. Despite going through my manuscript multiple times in these programs, once it’s passed to human editors, they still find things the AI missed. In fact, a couple of days ago my proof reader returned a manuscript to me. It had been through the editing software, but she still found hundreds of small errors!
I’ve also been dipping my toe into ChatGPT. I, like a lot of authors, find writing blurbs really tricky, so I’ve been seeing whether this is an area where ChatGPT can assist me. So far, I’ve found the results it produces a useful starting point, rather than a finished product. And this is how I see all these forms of technology, as tools, making certain jobs easier, but no substitute for a human eye or creativity.
Author’s concerns over AI written books are valid, but I suspect that most readers will continue to prefer stories written by humans. And I’m yet to be convinced that AI could compete with the intricacies of human observation, the creativity that spurs authors on to write, or the emotions that we humans are able to tap into. Regardless of what the future holds, I intend to be grateful for the ways AI makes editing easier, whilst keeping it firmly at arm’s length when it comes to the content of my books!