Thursday, March 16, 2023

100% Human Made

Alexia Chantel, in a long dress, standing in the broom maker's shop, he's in a green t-shirt and shorts, with the hand made broom standing between them

Kears Broom Shop, Gatlinburg TN...a great story

We’ve all seen the Terminator, right? “Dense network computers. New…powerful…hooked into everything—“ You’ve seen it, good. Then you knew this was coming. Artificial Intelligence art and composition. 

I’m a sci-fi consumer. I love it, I binge it, I can’t get enough of it. Heck, I even wrote about a pandemic that raced across the earth a few years before the COVID pandemic hit. So it’s no surprise to me that AI is now writing.

My husband and I had dinner with some friends recently. One of them pulled up ChatGPT and entertained us with some limericks and romantic poems, all written by the app. And they weren’t bad. The interesting thing about the app is that it will learn you, meaning it will pick up on your wording and speech patterns and become even better at writing for you. 

I’m still not surprised. 

What did surprise me was when our friend with the ChatGPT asked me what I thought this would do to authors like me who write books. He asked, what will we do? I shrugged and offhandedly said that we’ll end up marketing our work as 100% human made, our writing will become more of an artisan craft. 

But that quick reply is truly what I expect to happen. Authors, those of us who are passionate about the written word, will continue to write. Yes, publishing will become, and has already been in some areas, inundated with AI crafted and AI assisted novels, short stories, articles, poems, and every other type of writing that can be submitted for payment. Yes, it will become even more difficult to make a living as a writer. Which means that yes, for those of us that persist, we will need to become even better at marketing ourselves. Because now, more than ever, it is ourselves, our human nature, that will become a selling point.

I love traveling and finding shops that craft and create their own products. Even better than finding said shop is actually talking to the people who made the goods, hearing their story, and finding out the history of whatever item I’m holding in my hands. I also love supporting the people that live in my area and work, grow, make things that I use. Why? Why do I pay more for a mug handmade by a gentleman that lives 30 miles from me over a lovely, cheaper, mug I can pick up at Target? 

Because of the story. 

When you create something, that item/process now has a story. My husband and I entertained a group of work colleagues. No, they don’t work for the same company as my husband, they work for a supplier, but he has met with them so many times over the years my husband became sick of the same old conversations around the same old restaurant tables. So they arrived at our home.

We had our wood-fired oven hot and ready and as we entertained we shared stories. Stories of how the oven arrived in our backyard, a severed finger was involved though not in the way you’re thinking, and the hand made pizza cutter that was formed out of black walnut from my husband’s grandfather’s farm. So many stories! And our guests were astounded. My husband met up with them again a few months later and they still couldn’t stop talking about it. 

All because of the stories. 

Yes, AI is going to replace a bulk of what we consume as written word. Yes, it’s going to become more challenging to be an author. But did you really come to this profession because it sounded easy? I believe you came to writing because you had a story that needed to be told. So tell your story, and then sell it proudly as 100% human made.