The Machine

Here I am again. I am writing on my Freewrite, sitting on my couch. A future is uncertain, work is what it is, and I feel the technology and time slipping away from me as the world moves to the cloud, and I seek more analog experiences and a return to the real.

I have experimented with AI and ChatGPT, and while fantastic technology, it is ultimately a soulless lie. Sure, I could use AI to produce dozens of books per week and spam them to online stores, but the quality is abysmal and repetitive filler, and my name would suffer. I would be little more than a scammer glomming onto the newest technology, striking early, and riding a wave until people got sick of the tripe the machine spits out.

And it is tripe, even the art, no more than filler clip art at best, and not the product of anyone real. None of it is copyrightable; as the copyright office has stated, AI works of art are in the public domain and should remain so. Even books, what little value they have when written by AI.

Through my experimentation, and at this point, it sounds like I was experimenting with drugs, I found a fantastic tool to explore your creativity, but worthless for creating things for readers. It is a beautiful introspective experience, showing you something which could or may happen through your own words extrapolated with the words of others, and I find the experience fascinating.

But through my exploration, I found AI to be repetitive and hollow, never capable of the "artist’s eye" or the writer’s guiding hand. Readers come to me for the flow of ideas and the depth of experience. I share a life experience and narrative that comes across very well when I am writing with a distraction-free device, and this is why readers seek me out.

It is not because of my ability to output words per hour since AI beats me there. The words per hour my mind and hands put outcome from a life of joy and pain, loss and wonder, failure, and triumph. I bring to my book a human experience that an AI cannot touch nor ever hope to.

My readers connect when I write of the hopeless life on the edge, living a paycheck away from homelessness, and the miserable life of the fringe of poverty. I have been there, a dash of hopeless joy, where the family was the only thing, and you made fun with what little you had. The lives of the rich on TV might as well be aliens visiting the planet, and even home ownership seemed an impossible dream.

An AI will never have lived a life like that, and even if it synthesizes words written by those who have been there, it will never get the complete picture. The flow of thoughts and ideas between the moment to moment of a life wasted in poverty but finding joy and love in the same will never escape the soulless machine.

AI will never know what it is to live this life. The AI will never know pleasure and passion, sex and lust, pain, and loss. It can only repeat the experiences others have had, and the novelty is only in putting different parts together and contrasting a narrative out of Frankenstein’s parts.

I can never release a book with words written by AI. That would not be me, nor would it be ethical for the bond of trust I have with my readers.

All I use in AI is Grammarly (however, that program uses AI to recognize patterns) to correct my verb forms, grammar, and structure. Having sloppy grammar and verbs all over the place ruins the reader’s experience, and I owe them distraction-free time when they share time with me. Grammarly only corrects; it does not write, so my ideas and flow are still mine.

Will I still experiment with AI?

Yes, I need to live on that bleeding edge and explore to unlock the infinite potential the machine promises and fools us with but never delivers since something that is not alive cannot write and connect with a reader.

While impressive and incredible, you can still tell it isn't real.

And in this age of the fake taking over every word we read and every image we see, I know that words written by hand, the imperfect and manual way of the past, will connect with readers in a way the comments stitched together by machine will never.

Readers will eventually seek the real in a sea of mechanical noise.

And they will know, by instinct, what was written by a soul and what was not.