There has been quite a lot of exciting dialogue on my socials about the Space & Time AI-involved submission call [find it here]. First, I want to say thank you. Dialogue is exactly what we need to hash out how we feel about this artificial interloper that has popped up among us. AI is definitely a concerning technology. Can it replace us? Can we stop it? Is the threat real? I aim to find out.
When I think there is a monster under my bed, I grab a flashlight and go look. I want to see if there is a real threat. What I think are scary noises may turn out to be a stray kitten. On the other hand, the threat might be real and I get my head munched off. It’s a 50/50 risk. What I do know is that pretending the monster isn’t there never makes it go away. I know my horror tropes. So here is me with my flashlight peeking under my bed at AI. You are absolutely invited.
I do feel like the media really wants us to be afraid of AI (and banks, the government, each other and murder hornets) because it makes us click-happy. I honestly don’t know if AI is a good or bad thing for us in the long run. I’m no engineer, expert or tech genius. I am that person that opens the closet when everyone else says to run. AI could be a horror.
I have read a lot of messages today from people worried I want AI to replace writers. As an active writer that loves to write, I don’t want to be replaced so I am officially not in favor of this. Our fear is valid, however. That’s why we need to know what we are facing. I’ve been testing out a few types of AI over the past few months, and here is what I think I’ve learned so far.
- I don’t believe AI can write a good story or poem. I have tried to get AI to write me a romance, a flash fiction, poetry, erotica, horror, a science fiction, a class… and nothing AI produced for me would be worth submitting to a magazine. I can’t get ChatGPT to write me 1k words without stalling out, let alone an entire book. That’s why I’m not asking for “AI pieces” with this submissions. They simply aren’t worth publishing, in my opinion. Bland and predictable. But AI involved… that can be a different story.
- What do I mean by “AI involvement?” By this I mean a work created with the help of AI as a tool. Examples: I have some Portuguese students using ChatGPT to translate their original stories to English so they can submit to the magazine. I have an author that has asked AI to give them a prompt, and they are writing their story from that prompt. I have someone who is doing a story in dialogue where they write a section of the story, and ask ChatGPT to write a reply, and then they base their next part on that reply. These are all ideas that would be banned under the “no AI” policy I’m seeing spring up everywhere. I think these are all valid, clever ways to use artificial intelligence.
- I am taking jobs away from writers. This is an extra call for the purpose of assessing the practical usages of artificial intelligence, if there are any. No writers, artists or poets will be harmed during this submission with the exception of myself in the circumstance of an angry mob. We just closed our last issue and our next regular submissions call opens up in July, the same as ever. Doing three back to back submissions so close to each other kind of hurts, so I thank Team S&T for jumping into this experiment with me.
- I am upset by the angry comments. Not at all. ❤️ I invite dialogue on this. It’s our human nature to be suspicious of new things—wise even. This is why we are still here instead of in a saber-tooth’s belly. But it takes all kinds of people. Some of us need to stay in the cave and learn while someone else (probably me) ventures out to see if tigers can be tamed. The way I see it, if I don’t get my answer, I’ll die of curiosity anyway. I’m okay with this.
- How have I used AI? I use ChatGPT daily now to do the grunt work of listing my SEO keywords, writing meta descriptions, researching things, and formatting my Wikipedia page. I wrote a poem in April where I fed my original line of poetry into Midjourney and created a video [watch that here]. I wrote an interview for Edgar Allen Poe and asked ChatGPT to answer as if it were Poe. I made a video of that and my husband, Ryan Aussie Smith, did Poe’s voice [watch that here]. I did an AI Versus Ai Jiang writing prompt challenge and Hooman Ai beat the artificial AI every time [watch that here].
I hope this has cleared up a few things. If not, please feel like you can ask me questions. I will share everything I know. Just understand, I’m not trying to convince you AI is not a threat. I honestly don’t know. I’m just a curious publisher/writer with a flashlight that needs to see what is under my bed.