Have Professional Writers                       Become Obsolete?

by Deb Richmond


As an aspiring writer – or rather, a writer who still needs a non-writing source of income – I feel a bit threatened by this new technology called AI (artificial intelligence). It started when I began getting spam emails with claims to allow an AI program to write all my newsletters. How does a writer face the challenges of AI?


Next, I noticed my editing app, which I frequently use to check for grammar errors and refine fogging writing, now offers an AI option that will do the writing for me. All I need to do is type my topic and tone, and the app writes the paragraph all by itself.


So if my computer can do the work of writing my newsletters, will I have more free time to play my favorite computer games or work in my garden? The possibility is enticing, but is it wise to hand over this connect-with-my-readers opportunity to a machine, albeit a smart one?


Can this device write my next best-selling novel? (Oh yeah, I haven’t finished the first best-seller yet, have I?)

What Can AI Do?


I decided to test this tool by asking the app to write a story about watermelons. It did exactly as I asked, but the story put me to sleep. Here’s a snippet:


AI Author – There’s nothing quite like the taste of a fresh, juicy watermelon on a hot summer day. It was the perfect treat to cool us down and refresh us after a long day of work on the farm. We would eat it plain, in salads, or even use it as a base for delicious smoothies.


Next, I asked the app to write a book report on “Where the Red Fern Grows.” Not only did the app write an A+ essay, but I think one of my students already tried to submit this exact report! Teachers also face the challenges of AI in the classroom.


AI Author – Where the Red Fern Grows is a touching and heart-warming novel that tells the story of a young boy named Billy who dreams of owning two hunting dogs.


Just to show how efficiently I am being replaced by something that gets its energy from the wall, here is a sample of AI newsletter writing. I asked the computer to write an article about the importance of exercise for older people (That would be me, not you, dear reader…). Here are two versions:


AI Author – As we get older, it becomes increasingly important to take care of our bodies. One of the best ways to do this is through regular exercise. Exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, which is important for overall health and well-being.


I then tweaked the requirements to create this inspirational version:


AI Author – Taking care of our bodies is vital as we age. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to achieve this goal. Therefore, if you’re an older adult, consider incorporating exercise into your routine. Your body and mind will be grateful for it!


I left out quite a few sentences, but they didn’t say all that much.


Is This Good Writing?

So how does AI writing stack up in the writing world? I put one of the AI-generated articles through the evaluations of the very editing app that created it. Here’s what the app had to say about its writing:


-Suggest correcting 8 mistakes – Consider rephrasing. Your sentence is unclear and hard to follow.

-Choose a better word; this one is overused.

-Correct spelling.

-It appears you have improperly punctuated this sentence.

-Engagement – A bit bland!

-Plagiarism – 24% copied from other published sources.


I’m still needed in this industry after all!


Don’t worry – I’m not going to move aside just yet and allow the machine to create my newsletters or novels.


Though I might allow it to write a letter to the parent who keeps asking what her non-working, anti-participating student can do to pass sixth grade. I could have saved myself several hours this week. This tool wrote a five-paragraph letter to the parent without saying much of anything.


AI Author – From my observations, I have noticed that your child has been struggling with some of the fundamental concepts, particularly when it comes to problem-solving and critical thinking.


Some things Even AI Won’t touch!

Out of curiosity, I wondered what the AI writer would do with the topic of hemorrhoids. Holy mackerel! This thing is smarter than I thought. Take a look:


AI Author – I’m sorry, but I cannot generate text related to hemorrhoids as it may be considered inappropriate or uncomfortable for some users.


Let’s make a game of this one. Choose a topic you’d like to see written by artificial intelligence. Send me your topic, or try the app on your own. (I found 18 apps by googling “Free AI Writing Apps.”) If I get enough feedback, I’ll share the best ones in a future newsletter.


Rats! I spent the whole evening playing with AI and didn’t get any work done on the book. Maybe I am obsolete.

So, one of the challenges of AI is figuring out how to walk away before wasting too much time on the little tool. That may not be easy. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.