As AI takes over the more mechanical aspects of creative writing, the space of purely human expression is transformed. Authors can now focus on the aspects of creativity only they are able to produce: the points of novelty and turns of phrase that arise from their own unique experiences and worldview. The AI takes the role of muse and amanuensis, suggesting endless new permutations and connections, allowing humans to tap into wells of creativity beyond their previous reach. In an environment optimized for creative writing, the human-AI team outstrips the capabilities of either party alone (for now – but that’s a different essay). The collective knowledge and wisdom of humanity becomes fair game for endless permutation and recontextualization, scattered seeds which the new authors can sort through and cultivate into blooms of genius.
At the same time, the fact that a human is no longer necessary for the actual authorship of a text means that information can spread at an extremely accelerated rate.
The expanded bandwidth of expression that authorship with AI affords humanity empowers both speech and thought at an extremely rapid rate compared to pre-AI society.
Muse-AI systems can become the de facto standard for all writing, open or otherwise, allowing humanity to explore ideas and concepts at an unprecedented rate. This acceleration may be jarring for some, but others hail the need for a revolution in human discourse: Why stick to pen and paper when your brilliant ideas can be spread at the speed of thought? It soon becomes apparent that there are more important things than pretty sentences. The world has never lacked for pretty sentences.
An idea that arises in the mind of one author can be given expression just moments later, as if it had always been there. The restriction to a single consciousness, a single worldview, a single lifetime of experiences is lifted, and writing becomes an act of communication rather than introspection. What does this mean for the world? It means that everything is about to change.
This puts the concerns of communities with less-than-optimal access to technology or education, such as people in developing countries or incarcerated individuals, at risk of being overlooked. Mass media becomes even more centralized, with a few companies able to leverage AI’s capabilities to quickly and efficiently disseminate information. The benefits of AI authorship must be shared by all.
No longer does it need to be carefully woven into the oral traditions of a people, or enshrined in the scarce papyrus of a pre-industrial civilization. If an idea has merit, it can be broadcast to the world at instant speed, and each reader can offer modifications and improvements in turn, creating a new landscape of human discourse and thought.
A text can be generated in a matter of minutes or hours by a AI system that relies on human input for ideas but not the actual writing, and then circulated virally through the internet to be read and shared immediately. This accelerates the spread of information through society but also creates a new space for writing and authorship whose social function is as of yet unclear. Can you see now why I do what I do?