OPINION: Writers Fear Not! AI Is A Gift For Creatives

OPINION: Writers Fear Not! AI Is A Gift For Creatives

Wading through my LinkedIn the other day I could barely move for articles saying that people like me (journalists/writers) would swiftly be replaced by AI, and specifically ChatGPT. 

Let’s be honest, no matter how old and wrinkly you are, all of us get that familiar stab in the gut feeling when we see our role in life next to the word ‘replaced’. 

I instantly imagined coming home from work, opening my front door, and seeing my husband and children sat round the table having roast dinner with ChatGPT. ChatGPT happily sat there,  eating from my fine china, whilst my own children called it mother. It stung. 

I was so angry and upset, in fact, I completely forgot that I don’t actually have a husband, children, fine china or (to be honest) even that much of a table …..(Hey – I’m a millennial, boomers took all the tables). 

Once I’d got over my childhood abandonment trauma, I took a step back and thought about it. 

Why do I love writing? What actually is it that gets me so excited about a blank page? Why do I get a thrill of excitement when I share my words with the world (‘the world’ being B&T readership and my handful of social media connections)?

The underlying drive was that a) I love learning about the world and asking interesting people questions; b) I love being inspired by what I’ve learnt and c) I love sharing what I’ve learnt with other people in creative ways and hearing what they think. That’s it. 

And far from being an enemy to this creative drive, the new bout of technology we have available – such as ChatGPT, TikTok and the new suite of AI tools introduced by the likes of Canva actually make sharing ideas with the world a) more accessible to everyone and b) less laborious. 

@sofiageraghty

Writers responding to chat GPT #tech #chatgpt #funny

♬ original sound – sofia geraghty

At B&T’s Women Leading Tech awards last month I was lucky enough to get to interview some of the super inspiring women that won. 

“I’ve always believed that technology can enhance your life and we can only learn from it and also challenge and develop it to expand,” Jacqueline Seeto, Designer at Creative Lab Studios, TikTok AU/NZ said in response to me asking why she went into tech. 

Her answer really stuck with me because she said we are able to challenge tech. A lot of coders and engineers who create technology such as AI tend to be left-brained type, meaning they excel at maths, science logic and visualising. 

This is why the first iterations of technology we used (well if you’re my age) was clunky and difficult to use for more creative people-focused types. I mean, excel spreadsheets for sales people? That caused a lot of pain for all involved!

But since the advent of Apple, there has been much more of a focus on creating tools that are enjoyable and easy to use for all types of people. 

No longer the domain of engineers, tech companies are now full of UX Designers and human-centred creatives focused on adapting technology to make it more accessible to everyone. 

@ajclementine

being a transgirI, i thought y’all wanted me to use the men’s restroom lol 🤷🏼‍♀️

♬ Savages by MARINA – TheMarinaJewels – {Fan Page}

The results of this are amazing. A university friend of mine is a stand-up comedian. He spent years traipsing the difficult stand-up path in bars and theatres across London – performing 5+ gigs a week whilst working full-time. He was excellent at what he did, but his audience was limited to how many people you could get in a room. 

When lockdown happened he turned to social media. Thanks to TikTok and Instagram he now has nearly 200K followers and works as a comedian full time. This was achieved without the help of an agent (which are notoriously hard to get) but with the help of technology. 

Individuals that have been under-represented by media in the past, such as trans woman AJ Clementine, can use platforms like TikTok to gain an audience.

AI can only really do the stuff that is repetitive and systematic. I mean, after all, there’s writing, and then there’s writing

There’s writing a company report, or a description that needs to be done (like a Wikipedia article),and then there’s storytelling. Writing a stand-up routine, or an advert script, or a screenplay, or an analysis piece or a motivational post. 

When we look at the most heart-warming, loved and award-winning advertisements of recent years – whether it be BMF’s campaign for Aldi or Howatson+Company’s Rejected Ales campaign or Australian Lamb’s Un-Australian advert – what they all have in common is a perceptive understanding of human nature and cultural nuances, attention to the detail of everyday life and great storytelling. That’s how you reach people. 

 

So, whilst AI can take care of repetitive work, we have more time to go out there, meet people, ask questions, have unique experiences and learn from the world so we can create better, more perceptive content. 




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