AI is quickly disrupting the world as we know it, and it’s not even halfway done yet. Among writers and visual artists, in particular, there rises a question: to use or not to use?
Public opinion is divided into two main camps: the “Adapt or Die” side, and the “Never!” side. Which camp do we, at Litwise, fall under?
Here is our stance on using generative AI in the business of writing.
Using Generative AI to Write
AI is great for research, brainstorming, and cleaning up grammar as well as spelling (even though its results cannot be fully trusted).
But when it comes to writing and plotting, Generative AI has two critical drawbacks:
1. Copyright Infringement
Most AI engines rely on the works of authors who have not given consent for their works to be used this way. That is a major breach of copyrights.
Imagine, for a moment, that you’re the successful writer of a best-selling series of murder mysteries, published under the pen name “Griseli Greene.”
Now, imagine someone comes along and prompts an AI for “a new novel in the style of Griseli Greene.”
And then publishes it under their own name.
How would you feel?
Yes, I made the example extremely blatant, but even without asking for materials “in the style of,” something similar takes place.
As writers, we—above all people—should protect the copyrights of other writers. We know what it would feel like to have our work snatched out from under us. We know how much effort and courage it takes to put pen to paper.
This is why generating prose with AI is pure disrespect for the copyrights of others, even if the law hasn’t caught up on it yet.
2. The Cliché Sandbox
If it isn’t copyright infringement that we have to be concerned about, it’s the sheer number of clichés that get peppered into AI-generated writing.
Generative AI uses existing works to piece together ideas according to your prompt.
In other words, generative AI works by giving you the most probable text for your prompt: the obvious; the cliché.
That is the antithesis of creative writing. Our job as writers is to create, not to recycle. If you have any appreciation for the art, make it yours. Surprise, invent, twist, and discover. Do all the things that AI cannot do!
Using Generative AI for Visual Arts
It’s tempting to use visual AI to cut down on the costs of marketing your works, from cover art to promotional materials, AI can create it all, right?
It sounds tempting, but we are rarely tempted by good things.
Here, too, we run into the issue of copyright infringement. The works of countless artists have been used without their consent. Can you truly demand that people respect your copyrights if you infringe on those of others?
Matters of copyright and AI are still a gray area, as far as the law is concerned, but not as far as your values are concerned.
Respect the art of others and respect your own art. Without that most basic respect, literature has no real future.