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Take the Notepad, Take the Pencil, and Take the Keyboard, Just Don’t Touch My Coffee: The Future of Writing and Creative Contents in the Age of AIs

May. 29, 2023.
6 min. read. Interactions

Hruy Tsegaye examines the Age of AI: Writers, Chatbots, and the Future of Creativity. Controversies, pros and cons, and the necessity to adapt in an AI-dominated world.

About the Writer

Hruy Tsegaye

82.6703 MPXR

Hruy Tsegaye, co-founder of iCog Labs, pioneers AI development in East Africa since 2011. Published author, committee member for IEEE's Global Initiative, and CEO of Mindplex, he contributes to ethical considerations in AI and autonomous systems. Co-authored 'The End of the Beginning' book on the Singularity.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

When did the world enter the age of AI? Was it in 1956: through the gates of Dartmouth College? Was it in 1996: when IBM’s Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov? Or was it in March 2023: when the world got scared of GPT-4 and started to pause or ban AI developments? We might even be in it since the beginning of time; despite its lack of falsifiability, the Simulation Hypothesis gives a 50% chance to the fancy idea that we live in an AI-simulated world.

What matters is not the ‘when’ but the ‘how’: how to live in the new age? A new age means lots of changes. Unfortunately, despite our claim to be a species that builds complex systems, handling changes is not our strong suit. Handling the truth isn’t either.

The AIs are coming, and they are coming strong! Many walks of life will be affected. For now, l will stick with the recent developments in the content-generating industry (writers, illustrators, designers etc.)

Recently, a Life Wire’s senior reporter quoted me in an article about generative AI. The reporter asked me to reflect on three questions (we’ll get to them), but unfortunately, only quoted one of my scenarios – the controversial one. 

A couple of weeks later, I was contacted by another media outlet to comment on what people in creative professions should do to mitigate the impact of AI. AI is going to change their careers. Are there any steps they should take now to reduce the risks?

They don’t seem to have published my comment: perhaps it wasn’t controversial enough for today’s media trend. 

Anyway, I am sharing my full comment here and hope to receive your outrage. What writer doesn’t love a little attention? 

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

The reporter’s three questions were:

  1. Why are writers using chatbots to publish writing?
  2. What are the pros and cons for readers of this approach?
  3. Will AI supplant human writers?

My comment:

Why are writers using chatbots to publish writing? Three explanations can answer the question. The first is the ‘laziness’ answer: “authors” use chatbots as a shortcut to avoid work. Explanation two is about recent breakthroughs in the field of AI, which have brought very powerful and reliable chatbots that can generate content with human-like quality. Explanation number three is controversial: the grimmer possibility is that writing standards are decreasing as readers’ attention spans get shorter and video becomes more prevalent. Even the writing in recent TV and movies sucks; a semi-intelligent ape can write a better script while fighting a lion, so sue me!

What are the pros and cons for readers of AIs generating content?: If the cause is lazy writers, there are no pros – it’s cons all the way down to the last tortoise! Readers are getting information that is created with slapdash research, shallow at best, and misleading at worst.

If it’s scenario number two (chatbots with human-like quality), then the cons are temporary: readers will put up with a lack of depth, intuition, and the human touch that can stir their souls until the technology moves beyond the current era. On the other hand, the pros in the same short period will mainly be the speed of information generation. The readers can and will get content quickly. 

During this period, the world should consider adding two key features for chatbots or content-generating AIs. 1) Transparency markers that will clearly identify the content as generated by AI, and 2) reputation markers which can enable the readers to teach and reshape the AIs. Perhaps, Let me add a bonus and say, 3) let the readers control their recommendation parameters and own the content ranking model.

The long-term pros will be accuracy, breadth, detail, and impartiality, as the chatbots learn to accurately digest and process facts before sharing their content.

If the case is scenario number three (readers are lowering their standards), there are no pros and cons; these will lead us into uncharted territory and might fundamentally change the nature of writing.

Will AI supplant human writers? Again, the answer depends on the scenarios. If the writers are getting lazy, AI will supplant humans. If the chatbots are getting better (better here means true AI that understands the concept), there is a reasonable ground to say yes, AI will replace human writers. If readers are getting dumber, we will get to a point where we can’t comprehend the difference because we are too ignorant to identify good writing from bad. If that is the case, asking, “Which is better?” will be out of the question.

Another possibility is that we might end up in a world where we can’t even compare the two (human vs AI writers). Why? Well, it is all about culture and the collective psyche: what is a great writer? One who creates a culture and a trend! If AI can find its way and create a different and unique culture and attitude (hopefully a generally good one), we will have no reason to not go with the new flow.

What about the other question: what should people involved in creative professions do to mitigate the impact of AI? Ah, where is this damn GPT-4? I am getting tired, and why can’t it fill this in for me? Do you guys know the owners of ChatGPT, in their absolute wisdom, have made sure the majority of Africans are blocked from all and every access to their troublemaker Chat GPT-4? Yep, we can’t access it. If I tell you what their platform tells us when we try to access it via an African IP address, I will have to clean my keyboard. It is dirty!

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

So what can creative people do, especially the novice ones that are starting their creative careers? I am so tempted to say ‘pray’! Ironically, surrendering is the best defense: work with the new AIs! Start mastering the AI tools today. Creative professions are creative mixing. Learn and master mixing the AI with the human touch. 

The future will see the rise of more powerful, and more human-like, AI tools that will undoubtedly match or even surpass humans’ output in creative professions. Moreover, access to these tools will be easier and more widespread: this will decrease the demand for jobs. Mass unemployment in the industry is an inevitable fate hidden in the light of progress! 

Yet, on the plus side, when these tools become accessible to the average Joe like me, creative art will stagnate: a mediocre work will be the new masterpiece. Why is this a plus? After a coffee break, I am counting three reasons. 

As the adage goes, Know thy enemy and know yourself. Those in creative professions today should begin working with AI tools to secure their positions in the future. It is futile to fight against the adoption of AI, and mastering these tools will enable real talented professionals to set the standards and maintain quality in their field, preventing creative stagnation and mediocrity. Yep, I am back after the coffee.

Soon or even sooner, AI will evolve into AGI. That is the game-over point: there will be no question of competing with them. However, during the transition, it is crucial to prepare for potential threats of mass unemployment, inequality, and other existential crises. 

I will make the recommendation for the preparation in the transition period short. If you remember, I told you that you can’t handle the truth. Well, handle it before it handles you! Our current value system must go away: a system that creates financial inequality is a system that creates monsters! Our value system is poisoned: if the future AGI destroys you, the present me says the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! 

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21 Comments

21 thoughts on “Take the Notepad, Take the Pencil, and Take the Keyboard, Just Don’t Touch My Coffee: The Future of Writing and Creative Contents in the Age of AIs

  1. Absolutely! The AI era presents numerous opportunities for humans to thrive and benefit from technological advancements. While AI can automate certain tasks and improve efficiency, it is ultimately designed to augment human capabilities rather than replace them. Humans possess unique qualities such as creativity, emotion, and critical thinking that make us invaluable in a world of AI. With responsible development and ethical implementation, humans can coexist and flourish in the AI era.

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  2. Mate, I reckon I can sense where you're coming from, and I've got a glimpse of the future where generative AI is right on our doorstep, innit? Over the past decade, this field has taken some proper strides, starting from the plain ol' text conjuring and whipping up images, to the real head-scratcher of crafting music and cobbling together videos.

    What's playing on my mind is whether we're in for a full-on swap of humans with generative AI in just a snappy 10 years? From what I've been soaking up, the majority of those brainy AI researchers and experts are shaking their heads at that one. They're saying it's like a proper long shot, you know what I mean? But, gotta say, looking back at history, sometimes wild things can go down if we stumble upon the hidden recipe for AGI.

    Why AGI, you ask? Well, the big, glaring reason we ain't seeing the total takeover is 'cause current narrow AI (that generative stuff) is dead set rubbish at creativity! Human smarts cover a whole heap of skills, like letting the imagination run wild, showing a bit of empathy, doing some head-scratching critical thinking, and making some proper tricky decisions.

    No matter how you slice it, I'd say Hruy's hit the nail on the head: teaming up is the name of the game if we're aiming to make it out in one piece. Collaborate to survive! Blimey, when I put it that way, it does sound a bit like one of them cult slogans, don't it?

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  3. The age of AI is a complex timeline. While 1956 marked AI's formal inception, 1996 showcased its prowess. The pivotal shift in March 2023, prompted by concerns over GPT-4, led to a reevaluation. Speculating if AI has always been intertwined, the Simulation Hypothesis adds an intriguing layer. The age of AI intertwines technological milestones with philosophical contemplations, shaping a multifaceted era.
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  4. I somehow agree with the central theme of this article.


    However, generative AI will replace every human in the coming 10 years.

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  5. dave

    9 mons ago
    16.19486 MPXR
    4 interactions

    I don't agree that we can survive the age of generative AI. We will be replaced very soon.

    I agree that we can buy since time in the early stages of generative AI Era

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HrpPMsD6sCE&t=22s

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    1. The other day, I saw a similar AI generator on reddit.Blimey, I couldn't locate it and share it here. Mate,if you have the video, share it here.
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  6. This article provides a thought-provoking analysis of the impact of AI on creative professions. The author addresses three crucial questions: why writers use chatbots, the pros and cons for readers of AI-generated content, and the possibility of AI supplanting human writers. The piece emphasizes the need for transparency and reader control in content generation. It also encourages creative professionals to embrace AI and integrate it with their work to stay relevant in the changing landscape. Overall, a compelling and insightful read on the challenges and opportunities in the age of AI.
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  7. This is an interesting article I agree with most of your points. However, I don't think we can win the fight against generative AIs.


    We are just buying some time trying to postpone the inevitable.

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    1. If the progress continues like this, and if the narrow AI grows and become more AGI-sh, yep, there is no point in resisting.
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      1. But if we progress with the current AGI, in my opinion, there is no way we can't predict the decisions that AI makes.

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      2. Jeepers creepers.😀

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        1. You are right.

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  8. Good writing
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  9. Good post
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  10. Good read!
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  11. Great article!
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  12. I won't touch your coffee :). The part where you say "Creative professions are creative mixing" is key to the world's need to accept AI-generated things. When cars were invented the horse trade became to fall. But persons that were trading horses become recruited in the car industries. I think you get my point.
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  13. Peter

    11 mons ago
    1.48366 MPXR
    2 interactions
    Great post! I'm no content creator at all. As a normal guy, AI is a great help to put my thoughts into a form, be it text or picture. I think and hope that good writers will always be needed. Maybe we will get to a point, where using AI to improve/adjust your content will be as normal as using a spelling checker. On the other hand, there is always the temptation of just getting lazy and using whatever AI gives you.
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  14. While you mentioned the possibility of writers using chatbots as a shortcut to avoid work, I believe that utilizing AI to generate articles is not solely an act of laziness. In fact, I consider it a positive development since AI is a creation of human intellect and serves as a tool for us to harness. Using AI requires a certain level of smartness and intelligence, as it involves understanding the capabilities and limitations of the technology. It necessitates education and knowledge to effectively utilize AI in various fields, including writing. AI can provide valuable assistance, helping writers to streamline their work, explore new ideas, and enhance their creative process. Rather than viewing AI as a threat to writing standards, we should embrace the opportunities it presents. With recent breakthroughs in AI, chatbots have demonstrated remarkable progress in generating content with human-like quality. This opens up new possibilities for writers to collaborate with AI systems, leveraging their capabilities to enhance and augment their own creative output. However, it's important to maintain a balance and uphold writing standards. AI should be viewed as a tool, a collaborator that complements human creativity, rather than a substitute. Writers should continue to cultivate their skills, craftsmanship, and unique perspectives while utilizing AI as a powerful tool in their creative arsenal. In summary, using AI to generate articles should be seen as a positive advancement in the writing landscape. It requires intelligence and a thoughtful approach, but i like the idea of the blocking of African Ip addresses, this should be resolved or it will create a chaose or something like that.
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  15. I am really sad to see the world heading towards this pathetic place. The writer’s hint that saying “the world is getting dumber” is controversial is true. Well, it is controversial because we have a pathetic excuse like “PC culture”. There is nothing correct about this culture, and it is all political! I agree one hundred percent with what the writer said regarding today’s TV shows: a semi-intelligent ape could write a better script while fighting a lion! Keep telling them that! We need to start handling the truth regardless of the PC culture. I hope that by mixing AI with human creativity, we will be able to uplift the content quality so I can finally say my subscription fee for TV is fair.
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  16. This one speaks to me, Generative AI can take my job. Not today, not tomorrow, but I know it is coming for me sooner than expected.
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