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  • Writer's pictureHeather Moll

Why I won't use generative AI

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

I hate that generative AI culls artwork and the written word without permission. It raises serious intellectual property and copyright concerns. It’s stealing. AI-based content generators like ChatGPT are essentially web scrapers that learn from what it is fed to generate ideas. The opportunity for spreading misinformation is immense. And what about quality concerns and plagiarism concerns? Creators are having the work stolen and copied.

And... I was still curious about it. I thought I could stump ChatGPT—I asked it to write a book blurb for a Jane Austen variation regency romance written by Heather Moll.

Here's what it came up with:

In "A Tale of Two Brothers," Heather Moll puts a fresh spin on the classic Regency romance genre, immersing readers in the witty, charming world of Jane Austen's beloved characters. In this imaginative retelling, Elizabeth Bennet is torn between two brothers: the dashing and captivating Mr. Wickham, and the steadfast and honorable Mr. Darcy.

As Elizabeth navigates the treacherous waters of Regency society, she must weigh her heart's desires against the expectations of her family and the strictures of the time. With each turn of the page, Moll expertly weaves a complex tale of love, betrayal, and self-discovery that will captivate Austen enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Packed with intricate period details, sparkling dialogue, and nuanced characterizations, "A Tale of Two Brothers" is a must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of finding their own Mr. Darcy.

I want all of my books to get feedback like intricate period details, sparkling dialogue, and nuanced characterizations, but what is this story even about? And how alarming is it that those are the words it found on the internet to use to describe a book of mine? It’s taken other people’s words about my books to generate that blurb.

It’s vague as far as the plot. And it's a little soulless. There are provocative words, so maybe for a teaser it's not so bad. But AI doesn't have the ability to create the nuance, foreshadowing, and the character depth that a real author adds to their plots and arc.

Can ChatGPT take a stand on an issue? Build up to and then throw in a plot twist? There’s no authorial "voice" here. Not to mention any hint as to the actual plot. This isn’t the type of book description that makes me want to keep reading.

Unfortunately, Amazon is already flooded with AI books in KU that lessen the payout for authors. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited bestseller list is full of nonsense titles and every time Amazon removes one, another is published. The KENP payout could ultimately plummet with such an influx of titles. Authors will lose money---from a payout that has already been on a steady decline---and then they’ll pull their books from KU and go wide.

For some markets, authors leaving KU won't make a large difference. But for JAFF, where the majority of their titles in KU, there are real consequences for both authors and readers. Costs of production go up all around, which will be passed on to readers.

As far as I'm concerned, generative AI used to plot books is stealing. I don't think AI can create better quality content than a skilled writer putting in the work. And even if it could, I would rather be entertained by and support an actual human creator. Humans want connection after all, right? Not to read the churned out content that I prompted a robot to make.

There's a lack of personalization and creativity with AI that will water-down fiction if that's where readers prefer to go. Great writing—human writing—engages readers at complex intellectual and emotional levels.

Is AI the end human literature? Of course not. Will I be using it? No. I’m committed to not using generative AI for plotting, outlining, writing, blog posts, or newsletters.

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