Thursday, August 3, 2023

AI or not AI, that's the Question

My answer is no. Well, maybe. Well, yes, eventually. Or perhaps not.


AI (well, it's LLM and not really AI, but okay) is here to stay, and so we'll have to live with it and deal with it. It will change the world. It will change the way we see things and do things. So, how do I look at AI as a (wannabe) writer?

For one, the results are impressive, and at the same time fairly useless. I could create some short sections of fiction, using ChatGPT, but it couldn't write anything long and consistent. It also had a tendency to 'embellish' text the way a beginning teen-angst (cough) writer would. ChatGPT failed on longer attempts, where it wouldn't build a plot, started to contradict itself, and sometimes produced plain filler -- think of a word salad which at first glance looked meaningful, but when taken apart meant nothing. A bit like my own rambling :-)

So, will I use AI to help me writing?

Right now, the answer is a clear 'no'. There may come a day (and I hope that day is still far away in the future) that AI will replace all authors, because it can pump out thought provoking, entertaining novels at the press of a button. I might still be writing then, because I enjoy the writing itself. It will probably not make me rich then, as it won't make me rich now. So, no AI for me.

I believe, however, that every author should mention his or her use of AI.

That's only fair to the reader.

So, for the record, no, I did not use any AI in writing Kind's Kiss. It is 100% a human effort.

And for utter clarity, yes, I do use a spell checker (Grammarly, though I never trust upon it blindly). To top it off, the book is being edited by a human person. (I'll share her name upon release.)

And covers?

Ah, that's a tricky one. My focus is on writing, on telling a story. A good cover is essential to sell a book, but it's not essential to read or write a book. So yes, I don't really mind AI if the cover is good enough and I'm honest about it. Besides... I may not be able to afford a decent artist right now. Publishing a book is a rather costly effort, with software, hardware, editors, ISBNs and all other costs involved. If there is an affordable artist who is willing to replace my covers with something better and can wait until I've sold enough copies to pay him / her, then contact me! (But I'm not expecting to get rich, and neither should you.)

The original cover for Kind's Kiss (the red-eyes cover) is not AI but a 'pastiche'. It started as a multi-layered, heavily edited mix of images taken from the Internet, which were redone by hand, combined with a 3D model of a gas station (licensed).

Again, for the record, the cover is 100% human made  (pastiche of repainted elements and some 3D modelling)

Am I considering alternative, AI generated covers? Yes. Will I use them? I don't know... If I do I will tell you. I have used AI generated art to do some mockups and previews, but I'd love to pay some good money to a good artist. However... here's reality knocking on my door: I will only be able to do so once making money.

So, I won't hold it against other authors to use AI generated art, or even AI generated text. As long as they're honest about it, why not?

And me? Me, I want to write myself, because I don't want an AI to have all the fun.

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