What It Means to Be a Writer in a World With AI

by Jennifer Roberts

Over the past year, AI has elbowed its way onto the scene, provoking both doomsday and utopian thinking around its capabilities. One group that has been particularly nervous about this new software is writers. With LLMs (large language models) developing at a rapid rate and threatening to replace the need for copywriters and novelists alike, the anxiety around AI is understandable. But should we be as nervous as we are? Will AI actually ever be able to replace the need for writers, or is there something about the act of putting ideas on paper (or a screen) that is uniquely human? What is this software actually good for, and can writers use it not as a tool of laziness but of learning? These are all lofty questions and the ones Nathan and I decided to use as the basis of our conversation for this episode of The Travel Writing Podcast as we grapple with what it means to be a writer in a world with AI.

During this conversation we also get into how we have personally experimented with tools like ChatGPT, where we see the most promise, what a future in which AI can replicate human personality may look like, why grappling with words is (and may always be) a deeply useful exercise, and why we both remain hopeful even as LLMs advance.

Listen to the full conversation here:

(You can also listen on Spotify or iTunes.)

We’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic. If you’d like to share, just shoot us an email at editor@intrepidtimes.com.

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