Do this and ChatGPT will not replace you as a writer

In the 18th century, when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, one group, called Luddites, mushroomed in Nottingham, Britain.

Their purpose? Just one. Oppose mechanization. They destroyed mechanized looms and other textile machinery due to the rising fear of unemployment.

David Landes summed up his vision of the period as:

“The workers, especially those bypassed by machine industry, said little but were undoubtedly of another mind” (Machine-breaking in England and France during the Age of Revolution).

Because of the inevitable efficiency brought about by technology, discussions around AI being a potential displacer are commonplace.

“The increase of technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with the problem of labour absorption; the improvement in the standard of life has been a little too quick.” (The history of technological anxiety and the future of economic growth)

It is implausible to not use AI and Chat GPT in the same sentence, especially when writing is involved.

They say “AI is the writer’s bestfriend”

AI is the writer's bestfriend, yet, it's enemy

There is an irony, wielded in an apparent antagonism, a dent on employment.

One is not ignorant to utterances such as ‘’You don’t need writers anymore’’. ‘’AI has taken over’’ and so on.

What does this mean?

Another spate of Luddite movement is around the corner. Except there is no tangible material to destroy this time, only mute bypassing and a question

‘’Will ChatGPT replace content writers’’.

The problem with ChatGPT

Let me begin by citing a paragraph from the article ‘A conversation with Chat GPT‘. This will make some of the agreed-upon criticisms more apparent.

“There is significant disagreement over both the usefulness and transformative nature of LLMs. It was quickly noted that because this LLM was not connected to the Internet, it could not fact-check itself, leading ChatGPT-supported applications to “hallucinate”—generate plausible-sounding yet factually inaccurate information in response to verifiable questions. This led some observers to suspect that AI is not about to displace the millions of knowledge workers who every day generate text and visual information—at least not until connectivity is enabled. Additionally, there are very real concerns of bias incorporated into its coding and the likelihood that the technology will merely reflect humanity’s own flaws without transcending its limitations”

Having charted out the basic criticisms, I can now focus somewhere else. An observation of  ChatGPT’s functioning to posit that creating sensible content or a piece of writing is not exactly what the GPT model is good at.

ChatGPT cannot think

There is an underlying pattern in chatGPT’s responses that runs in parallel with how humans tend to sentence.

If I ask you, ‘What is the cause of human suffering’?

The response would be subjective.

You can put it in hundred different ways, all coming from your experiences and the information you have been fed, either through media or text.

Your position would be an amalgamation of your own experience and the consumed information.

The expression would not be pure knowledge, which would be not verifiable. It cannot be an opinion either since there is some degree of verifiability (secondary information).

It is a prediction; you don’t know the veracity of your claim; hence, you predict the most plausible word that would fit in the sentence. Most of our generic-sounding expressions work in this prediction model.

Similarly, ChatGPT is trained in a lot of data existing all over the internet. Based on its algorithm settings, it predicts the most plausible words to form sentences relevant to the query.

A pen which has ideas as ink is not prone to the risk of running out.

You don’t need prediction as an element in writing creative or descriptive content. For instance, if you are writing a blog for a healthcare company, no matter how plausible it seems, you can’t just predict or guess what word would come next in the sentence. It is a great disservice to the people you serve because health is the most research-sensitive industry.

Unlike ChatGPT responses, ideas are not exhaustive

Ideas are beyond the observable universe

Such information may be centuries worth of work, but doesn’t come close to human ideas in terms of exhaustion.

It is the result of a long-drawn effort of human intellect. Even after knowing it all, the Internet can only act as a repository of what humans are capable of, producing more knowledge.

From the time of the Presocratics when water was considered as the base substance underlying the world to the time when Nietzsche wrote God is dead, we have come a long way.

We were fed ideas to procreate more ideas.

Writing as an art

Those who love writing like a beloved will understand that each sentence tells a story of creative thought, a thought of ‘what if I use this word instead of this, how can I make the sentence capture the essence of my thought even better?

You know what else is an art? Logic. Read: What normal people can’t see in a diplomat’s statements: Material Implication and S. Jaishankar

A grammatically unsound sentence, if written with the rigor of knowledge and creativity, can function like a sound one.

You can reap creative content out of ChatGPT or any other generative AI, but you can’t recreate the same mental process.

Design Theory, a popular YouTube channel that talks about philosophy of design highlights the issue of ‘creative entropy’. A state in which creativity is rendered as a recycling farrago.

”I feel like AI could make this even worse where we all just use the same prompts and borrow inspiration from the exact same set of images i could see a world where we all just recycle old trends over and over again it’s already happening now but ai might make it even worse ” (Design Theory: Will artificial intelligence end human creativity?)

For a writer, words never meant anything anyway; it was the expression of the intellect.

Those who can't write by putting their minds into what they are writing, no good work can be produced.

When the Industrial Revolution brought about rampant usage of machine-produced work. The artisanal value of handmade craft increased manifold. It was in the craft where value resided.

Using Chat GPT is not a matter of craft, you may argue; it saves time and gets the job done in the absence of writers.

And that is valid, but it would be in your best interest to have humans behind the words.

No amount of time and savings can offer you the same worth as content written with utmost sincerity.

Google, too, realizes this, and therefore, sites’ preponderance of AI written content is de-ranked on search engine.

The beauty of content writing is its diverse perspectives, coming from people with different thinking processes.

To cater to a market where people of diversity lives, an individual’s ideas aren’t going to be sufficient. You would need more of these thinkers.

Writing as a service

The sheer irony of me using AI to criticize AI

When we are writing content, we are often audience-oriented. The idea is primarily to rescue stranded audiences.

A while back, I was working for a digital marketing agency. My tasks involved writing how-to guides.

For instance, if I want to write content around ‘’how to activate a debit card’’, I would need to be on-point.

It always left me wondering how I could possibly embellish a descriptive piece of writing and infuse ideas into it.

But, I soon cottoned on to the idea of service.

It is true that such write-ups are descriptive and have little to no scope for creative enterprise.

Even then, the decision to keep it simple and as easy to comprehend as possible is a rational one. You wield that power. It is there at your disposal.

Moreover, if you have understood the entire process (spent time in knowledge gathering), then those words would convey a sincerity of service.

Those serviced would sense it, and you will be rewarded with authenticity (beyond imitation).

Can ChatGPT replace you?

To this, I shall l respond, is brute content creation or information taken from the first ranking pages in SERP is what involves your writing activities? Was your creative endeavor built upon publishing content for the sake of publishing?

If yes, then I hate to break it down to you, replacement is on the horizon. Even if ChatGPT wasn’t in the picture, you would still have been replaceable, not by the introduction of a new tech, but by the virtue of pushing out uninspiring work.

There is no machine alternative to a good-fat 'thinking'.

Is upskilling a solution

Upskilling may seem to be a solution, but only a temporary one. You cannot have technology and upskilling humans on the same track. The former is bound to win the race every time.

Furthermore, many workers do not have the freedom to upskill themselves due to work circumstances. Also, some would go for reskilling and then upskilling if they no longer enjoy what they do or have other plans.

What is the ointment then?

Squeezing the thought out of your content transcends any restraint. You can work doggedly all day, and yet be able to reflect.

Strive to spread your perspective so wide open that even the prediction model can’t imitate.

On an ending note, we need not undermine AI’s capabilities. For instance, one thing that it is profusely good at is bartending ideas.

When I was writing the last blog, I had a sense of both concepts of marketing position as well as Syadvada.

When I entered the prompt ‘’Bring out the connection between market positioning and syadvada’’, it gave me the following response:

While the original idea of conflating the two concepts was mine, the model acted as a corroborator.

This is how you can use chatGPT as a writer. Your job is not that of a word-producer, but a thinker, a researcher, a craftsman.

Times are much more different than when the  Luddites took it out on the machines. Some of us have become humans of reason rather than vandalism.

Still, the fear lurks, untamed and unabated.

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