Human Creativity Amidst AI Dominance

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Should you even write in a world dominated by generative AI? Isn’t your one brain competing with data centers that can do trillions of calculations per second where you can barely hold a single thought in your mind? Don’t all these massive language models know way more than you could ever learn?

That’s quite the competition for an aspiring writer. And that’s just the problem with your input. Now, you also have to wonder what happens to your thoughts after you publish them on the internet.

Many fear that their content, once consumed by generative AI systems like ChatGPT or MidJourney, will be used to create free or cheap content for others. Since there is no attribution in the base GPT models, you’re right to question the worth of spending time on creating content that might just be absorbed by these automated systems — against your will and without your permission.

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Sounds desolate, right? AI isn’t just performing better than you but also taking your job?

Well, not quite. Neither, actually.

I believe it’s definitely worthwhile to write. Mainly because we’re talking about different kinds of writing. Or rather: different agents of writing. Yes, both you and the AI come up with a string of words, but the process couldn’t be any different. And that matters.

One key development is emerging in the social media communities I’m part of: as AI-created content becomes more or less indistinguishable from human-generated material, the identity of the author becomes incredibly significant. Because a person is someone you can trust, someone you can innately understand as an originator of thought and opinion. Not so much with a machine.

Many people prefer imperfect but human-written pieces over flawlessly polished ones (possibly) crafted by an AI.

Generative AIs are gaslighting machines. To be successful as products, they need to produce convincing and generic text that “works” for most users. The consequence is that those results rarely are substantial or interesting. They’re good, but not great. They’re fulfilling expectations but will never surprise you.

Surprises like this one: if you ever roast a duck breast in the oven, try covering it with a half-inch layer of marzipan and some aluminum foil after searing. It creates spectacular sweetness from the almonds. It’ll also develop a fun crust on top of the duck. You’d think this is just a winter taste, but it’ll work at any time of year.

Now, ChatGPT would never give random —but life-altering— culinary tips in the middle of a text all by itself. But I will. And even though you don’t follow me for my cooking advice, there’s likely something about me you like. There is nothing about ChatGPT you could even like. It’s a language model. And that’s all it’ll ever be.

I advocate for us to continue writing as our authentic selves even though our work might get appropriated by AI systems. So what if they repurpose our thoughts into bland yet “generically compelling” text? That’s theirs. We have ours. People come to us for that.

There’ll likely be a period where this won’t prove profitable for most writers, because the AI craze will for sure take away earnings just because a few execs somewhere feel like they’re making really smart choices.

But, in the end, they’ll see that people ultimately seek connections with other humans rather than machines or “smart systems.” I am reminded of just how unfulfilling these systems are whenever I try to talk to my smart home. After two attempts of getting it to list the ingredients of a recipe, I go to an old-fashioned cookbook —that a human wrote— and just use that instead.

As more businesses use AI-produced copywriting because they immediately save time from its effectiveness and convenience, they’ll shift into “genericism.” The creative spark will fizzle out. And people will notice. That’s why we can also expect increased demand for authentic human-to-human interactions.

We’re already seeing this trend through personal branding on social media; people are drawn toward individuals rather than faceless corporations. Brands willing to share not only their expertise and products but also their journey —including failures and successes— foster stronger bonds with audiences. That’s why building in public is such a big deal: it’s a trust-building action aimed at long-term relationships—the exact opposite of having a robot come up with some copy within 20 milliseconds.

These meaningful connections enable readers, listeners, and viewers to discern between valuable human-originated content and machine-generated pieces designed purely for mass appeal.

We’ve developed a sensitive radar for ads and product placement. We will develop the same sense for AI-generated works.

Satisfied followers who view you as standing out amidst a sea of impersonal algorithms will recommend you to their equally real and human peers.

So yes, keep writing! Show just how much more than an algorithm you are. Writing broadens opportunities coming from and happening among your very much human peers. It’s an exquisite way for you to be yourself — and become better at it.

Write the things that ChatGPT would never write. Put a thin layer of marzipan on top. It’ll be sweet.

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