Saturday, January 14, 2023

Scary times: use the tools available to you

January 14, 2023

A few days ago I commented on a Facebook post about artificial intelligence. The discussion mentioned quite a few things including, but not only, the use of Grammarly. I use the free version of Grammarly and find it helpful. Will I ever use AI to write an entire book and then put my name on it. That's a firm NO. 

There are a substantial number of programs available to assist the writer. A quick Google search turned up 236,000 hits and listed things I'd never heard of. It's never occurred to me to have AI write for me. Spell-check me? Yes. Find those pesky missing words, as in a forgotten "the" or "and?" Sure thing. But a whole book? But that's just me.

I was up early this morning. My bed got too crowded around four o'clock. Hello, Deuce. Hello, Loki. Goodbye me. I toddled to my recliner and settled in to get a bit more sleep by myself. It was a fruitless endeavor, and I ended up reading an older book of mine - and finding a typo.

Now this book had three sets of human eyes edit it, and I still found a typo. I mention this because, in that Facebook thread, there was a bit of insinuation that only a human editor is suitable. Really? I've had some good human editors but I just found a typo none of us caught. Being the curious sort, I ran that page through Grammarly, and Grammarly caught it on the first pass. 

So what's my point? It's this - a writer should use the tools available to them be that a human editor, a program like Grammarly, or any combination necessary to get the book written to the best of their ability. The second part is that we as writers need to be careful in suggesting there is only one way to get the job done. 

Would I prefer to be a newbie writer in this decade? No, I would not. I benefited greatly from having human editors. I have what they taught me to fall back on. I may have argued with some of them over a point or two to protect my vision of a story, but that doesn't mean either of us was entirely wrong. Would I want to have to rely on nothing but computer software to edit? No, I would not.  

I suspect that one day soon I'll download a book that has been written by AI and I'll not know the difference. Why not? Because somewhere along the line, a real human writer had to read that manuscript and if they're worth the moniker, they made sure it was their story. 

This brave new world is pretty scary. 


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KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, writers on writing, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, AI, editing, editors, writer's tools, GLBT gay, LGBT gay, 

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