Are Robot-driven Programs Going To Do All Our Writing For Us From Now On?

Pamela Connellan
on 29 January 2023

Unless you’ve been on a digital detox away from your phone and your computer, you’ll have heard about ChatGPT – an interesting chatbot which was launched in November last year and already has several million users. With oodles of AI, you only have to ask ChatGPT to write about a certain topic and it will deliver on the spot.

Already, the pundits are saying this will be the ‘end of writing as we know it’ but as always, there’s more to all of this than first meets the eye. Of course, this chatbot will deliver writing and it will be better than a lot of what we encounter, but hopefully it delivers a challenge to human writers to deliver ‘great writing’ so people will want to read what they’ve got to say.

One of the main concerns is how ChatGPT can be used

A major concern about ChatGPT is how it could be used by people who are studying courses. When their university professor asks them to write an essay on a particular topic – how are those professors going to be sure their students won’t just go home and ask ChatGPT to do it for them?

Well, on this front, there are obviously going to need to be some new ways of checking student’s work. One of the main issues for students using ChatGPT is that if two students in the same class ask ChatGPT for an essay on the same subject – they’ll each get a completely different response. This makes it so much more difficult to track if students have used ChatGPT. Already, NSW, Queensland and Tasmania have stated ChatGPT is off limits in public schools and other states in Australia are considering their position but it’s expected they’ll ban it as well.

Concern is growing in areas of journalism, marketing and advertising

Obviously, ChatGPT is creating concern not only in the area of learning but also in industries such as journalism, marketing and advertising. In these areas, ChatGPT will be able to produce text quickly and easily without the need for research.

But ChatGPT still has some limitations. According to the OpenAI website, ChatGPT has limited to no knowledge of the world and events before 2021 and may occasionally generate inaccurate information.

ChatGPT is not like Google and it can’t access information outside its own model. This means it can only provide responses based on its own logic and knowledge. It won’t be able to provide opinions and cannot verify facts. Thank goodness for these factors!

So how should we look at ChatGPT?

While ChatGPT could be worked on and improved in the future, currently it should be seen more as a tool which can help us with our writing – but not replace writing altogether. It can provide background notes or business writing about many topics. But it can’t deliver the style that’s unique to the writing from a human being.

At this stage, ChatGPT won’t be able to write something we consider is a masterpiece because it takes a human being to know how to do this – so far! But who knows? In the future, a chatbot like ChatGPT could be programmed with more intelligence and nuance, so it actually does become more of a threat.

At this stage, as far as writing goes, we know that ChatGPT won’t be the ‘end of writing’ as we know it but more the end of really bad writing! Plus, we’ll see far more writing coming our way which is very average. In fact, writing from ChatGPT may become identifiable and we’ll be able to see it a mile off.

Remember when Canva was introduced?

Some have likened the introduction of ChatGPT to the introduction of Canva about 10 years ago. When this program first came out, good designers were as worried about it as some writers are now about ChatGPT.

Because Canva automates a lot of basic design work, it allows the average person to deliver a social post or flyer with above average quality. But it hasn’t ended up meaning there’s no need for premium design.

Across the Internet, you will see a lot of Canva-styled templates being used but to create really good design using Canva, it still takes more time and effort. So, while Canva is a helpful design tool – it still requires the input from a human being who’s willing to put the time to create something of quality.

Hopefully, this is the same with ChatGPT. To produce writing which is of a very high quality and which addresses specific topics where emotion and nuance are important – a human being will still need to write this.

While there are the doomsayers who point out that ChatGPT will mean the ‘end of writing’ (see this well-written article here by Sean Thomas at The Spectator) many others have pointed out that great writing by human beings will still have a place in our socciety.

As long as we change and grow along with these new AI tools, we can use them for our benefit and keep adding to them. It’s an interesting time to be around and for sure – this is an area we’ll need to keep watching over the next few decades.

For more from Women Love Tech on AI, visit here.

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