AI Empowered Writing Tools: There is a Need of Humane Touch

Dr Shalini Yadav
(Writer, Editor & Professor)

If you’re having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down …Creativity exists in the present moment. You can’t find it anywhere else. —Natalie Goldberg

Post-pandemic, every one wishes his or her voice to be heard; works to be appreciated and identity to be acknowledged. The world has rapidly changed when people saw their closed ones suffering and dying and now wish to live the fullest, exhibiting their skills beyond materialistic pursuits. Before that people were running behind physical facilities but the lockdown period made them explore themselves in a better way and brought out a multifaceted persona to showcase to the world.

Sigmund Freud has said- “Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.” Same do I see everywhere. Adrenaline-charged feel it is to see burgeoning writers and artists from different parts of the world, but the problem is this whether we are befooling ourselves or productivity is sincerely increased? Is it due to massive adoption of Artificial Intelligence, we are able to create and write more or it’s original with lived humanistic experiences? Are we creating such an environment where everything already exists in the surrounding or it’s a naïve idea? Do we really need to care about it or shall we go with the flow? Can AI really be a replacement for fiction writers, copywriters, copyeditors and poets?

Post pandemic where everyone wishes to be sassy-brassy, many are using AI to be quick to fabricate, weave and display as AI tools are faster and helpful for writers and editors in generating content ideas, providing writing assistance, content optimization, automated summarization, language translation, and writing prompts to overcome writer’s block etc.

AI tools and Chat GPT can be helpful in creating new-age literature in multiple ways including idea generation for stories and plots, characters, language enhancement, editing, identify redundancies and inconsistencies and more diverse vocabulary etc. Though it can help writers and editors streamline their workflow, save time and effort, and produce high-quality content more efficiently, it needs human inputs and touch to make the stuff more realistic.

Himanshu Rai, the favourite literary juggler of India and renowned author of best selling novels including ‘You are Still the One’ and ‘I am Always With You’ shares his perspective in a conversation- “AI tools and Chat GPT can be good tools for researching topics and can enhance writing skills. They will work as a tool of research for the writers, but cannot replace the thoughts and feelings of writers. Writing a novel is actually bringing feelings on paper and AI tools may have the caliber to research but they lack in terms of emotions and feelings.”

Author and Life Coach Yasmin Sait says her mind- “I haven’t used it so far but I have heard a lot about it. I may be wrong but I feel you should be creative to use the AI-generated apps and Chat GPT so that it can boost your creativity. After all, don’t forget, it is artificial intelligence getting the expression, voice, and style that requires a human to guide it; hence, garbage in, garbage out.”

Annette Tarpley, Founder of an International Poetry Community ‘The Passion of Poetry’ with 90 K members, says- “I do not endorse AI at all in writing, to me it is a form of plagiarism.” She further adds- “The poet is forfeiting her/his own creativity and utilizing an artificial mean and claiming it as her or his own, that is not writing, that is not creating. And if one is using that as a means to create so to speak, he or she is not a writer. It is false pretence and if one uses that it should not be claimed as their own but the credit should be given to AI as source.” And in a discourse, Founder of a poetry association, ‘The Writers Wave’ and a skilled poet from Tunisia, Myriam Ghezail Ben Brahim says- “it spoils creativity undoubtedly”.

Presently many AI generated books are sold in the markets and it is a matter of worry for writers who work hard day and night and for publishers too. Showing the concern, S Affan Yesvi, Director, Rhyvers Publishing utterly discards the idea of using AI resources and also pronounces it as GIGO. He also said that publishers should also be aware of what is going on in the present and must crosscheck before publishing.

The intellectual property of writers which is already there online is in danger because AI somehow takes and modifies the same information which is already available on web sources. It generates copyright issues and legal proceedings take lots of time and money to get the due justice. This is a burgeoning issue that AI copies the style, language and creative work as it is and the task becomes herculean to identify whether it’s fake or original hence there is no proper device available which can completely assure that it is not plagiarized.

Acclaimed and award-winning Author Shunali Kullar Shroff who writes about culture, art and travelling a lot to fantastic locales, shares her views on usage of AI- “Chat GPT is an evolving tool. If you ask it to describe a scene, for example Ganges in Rishikesh, or a scene set in High Park in London, you will find that the description is very florid or flowery and it’s full of cliches. Now if you are already a writer and you know that these cliches should be avoided but if sometime you are feeling lazy to build the scene, then you may utilize it, however I find that language is very inauthentic and every person has a unique voice.”

Shunali continues, “Ultimately what is the writer’s goal is that something in my heart and mind should touch your heart so to that end you can’t rely on Chat GPT, you have to bring soul into it. if I am describing an Indian politician walking with his bodyguard, and I am stuck somewhere in being able to physically describe the bodyguard, it’s great I haven’t tried it yet. But I know it for a fact, it might be able to describe that fairly well. To that end one can use it but so far not beyond that.”

Shunali further added that it still can not frame authentic dialogues and is relying on the creativity which is already present there and nothing new comes out. As students when one is stuck with descriptive scenes and character descriptions and one relies on Chat GPT and asks to write it and one can sort of learn from it. One can learn about sentence structure, key features of the person being highlighted.” She remarks: “learners can learn from it indeed but still I would suggest learning from reading real literature is any day a better idea.”

Multiple Award-winning Author, screenwriter and journalist Meghna Pant, who keeps writing on gender issues, shares her views about AI and Literature. She said that many people have asked her whether artificial intelligence is going to be a replacement for novelists and what impact is going to have on literature. She continues- “I am happy to inform you that as it stands today AI is definitely helpful but it’s not infallible. The concept sounds great but the experience of it is very different. The generative AI and Computational Analysis can help you in your research, can help you generate ideas, can help you if you are stuck and facing writer’s block they can help you to restructure, to perhaps proof read and edit beyond that it can not capture the emotion and gravitas of so being human being.

Meghna adds- “The lived experiences, pain, pathos and authenticity that comes for writing a story none of those can be emulated. AI is too staccato, incoherent and rudimentary to write good stories. Therefore, it acts best as a supplement but not as a substitute. And definitely the rise of AI generated literature is a new genre that we cannot ignore, but need not to fear either.”

Eventually, whether or not writers and poets choose to incorporate AI technology into their work depends on their individual goals, preferences, and creative process. Some may find AI to be a valuable tool for enhancing their creativity, while others may prefer to rely solely on their own intuition and inspiration.

There is no doubt, AI technologies can be used to augment human creativity, providing inspiration, suggesting new ideas, or helping to automate certain aspects of the creative process. For example, AI-powered writing tools can help budding writers with grammar, syntax, and word choice, while also providing suggestions for plot lines, character development, and settings.

Though there is no harm in using or taking help of AI if credit given to the source but we should keep it in mind that we can not expect growth within our lives just through the usage of technology and we need to make a balance of humanistic approach, needs and use of technology to give the best product adding more to the existing rather just reproducing the same with another tags and titles.

(Dr. Shalini Yadav is a Professor, Writer and Editor)

Source: Dr Shalini Yadav (Writer, Editor & Professor)

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