Sundays are often my creative days. I tend to sit and write a series of articles about a range of things affecting authors, speakers, and content curation. Because that’s what I do, help people to work out their best content and how to share it across multiple platforms. So hot on the heels of several articles and webinars I’ve been seeing lately about AI and how it affects the writing and speaking industry in general, I had lunch with one of my favorite people on Friday to talk about IP (that’s her specialist industry), and of course, we talked about AI.
Sunday morning then rolled around and found me sitting at my computer, ready to write these articles. You’re reading one of them right now. And this one has had just a little help from AI – as I’ll soon explain.
When we think of AI and using it to help writers write books and articles, there seems to already be three main buzz topics afloat:
3. ways it can be used to replace humans.
Let’s deal first with copyright. There are some outstanding articles about this currently doing the rounds, so I won’t say much more than this. If you write it, you own it – it is copyrighted. That’s it. Stop! Nothing much more to say. Except that if you get a robot tool to write your copy, you don’t really own it, and neither does the robot. It’s not yours unless you take it and work with it, as a potter would a lump of clay that has only so far been formed into a bowl or a plate.
On the subject of plagiarism, if you’re a writer, and you earn an income based on what you write, either for yourself or for others (as in ghostwriting or copywriting services), then you risk your reputation in all the worst ways, by passing off anyone else’s work as your own. If you want to risk it, then be prepared to have a large fund set aside for legal fees and/or retraining for a new career. Just don’t risk your reputation for the sake of toeing the line on this one. It’s not worth it, and if you have the ability to write something, then write it. Don’t cheat by getting a machine to do it for you, and passing off the results as your own, because you have no way of confirming that what your robot creates for you is not already the same as generated for someone else.
Can AI replace humans?
Well, as my friend said on Friday, there are many things robots can do to replace humans in the workforce. But if your work relies on you having empathy, being able to create a strategy, or sharing real stories about real things as a human being, then robots really are still a long way from taking over.
Now – here’s the thing. AI can and does serve writers and creatives in amazing ways that can save time, and time is money in this industry. For example, if you are writing something and want to have a checklist generated from your article about, let’s say ‘creating an event checklist, then you can potentially write a prompt based on your article and ask for this to be generated easily. That’s going to save you time, but you’re still going to have to check, adjust, and confirm the content generated is as you want it to be. As a speaker, you can easily use AI to map out the framework for a workshop or training program, and it will do that brilliantly. But you certainly can’t just print out what has been AI generated and do nothing more to it before presenting it on Monday!
Another example is what I’ve done with my article-writing sessions this week.
- I asked AI to give me 10 headings about how AI is able to assist writers with articles.
- I then asked for those 10 headings to each have a short 50-100 words sentence suggesting ways to expand on what each of those topics could focus on.
- From there, I took that list and put it into my article idea’s document, and selected each one to write from there.
This is the first article from that set of suggestions.
This is what AI proposed:
This article could showcase real-world examples of authors who are successfully using AI to enhance their writing process, exploring how these tools are being integrated into their workflow.
Think of it this way.
Would you, as a professional speaker, ask AI to write your presentation for you, then deliver only exactly what is suggested without putting your own spin on it, ensuring that your presentation is delivered your way? What about adding humor, images, and extra stories?
If you’re going to use AI, then use it well, with integrity, and be honest about using it if your clients ask you about it. You might also want to have an adaption to your contracts (if you get paid to write or produce content for/as other people) to cover what your AI use is. You need to also specify that you are not going to use AI to share other people’s content or IP that can then be used for external AI scraping.
We’re charting new territory, and it’s a fast voyage so far. But I believe that if we see the use of AI as a smart tool in the same vein as Grammarly, then we can maximize its potential without getting into trouble. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Grammarly and, to be honest about it to a client, but I wouldn’t get Grammarly to do all the heavy lifting in my writing work either.
This blog post was written for eSpeakers by Dixie Carlton.
Dixie’s known as The Word Witch; she helps professional speakers and authors navigate the space from Pages to Stages. She is a best-selling author, speaker, and publishing coach working with speakers who are focused on sharing their legacy of wisdom and expertise across multiple platforms. www.dixiecarlton.com