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AI and the Publishing World

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As AI continues to gain popularity, more people are becoming aware of its use in various fields. One of the most widely known examples of AI’s impact is the recent Actors Strike that began on July 14 and ended with a deal that provides safeguards against the unauthorized use of an actor’s likeness without their permission.

In a recent article by Peter Gregory for Forbes, AI can be both a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand, from assisting in research to streamlining content creation and distribution, AI offers promising avenues for increased productivity and efficiency.  However, it also raises concerns about “the preservation of human voice and original thought.” 

Industry leaders have given their thoughts on how generative AI tools like ChatGPT are set to impact the publishing industry.  According to Mike Walker, Executive Director at Microsoft, “It won’t replace authors but rather make them more productive with aggregated research and synthesized content that can be tweaked to resemble the voice of the author.”  He adds, “…the risks associated with AI introduce new fact-checking and authenticity processes.”

Other benefits of generative AI include excellence at editing, thus reducing the time needed to edit their original creations and the ability to streamline laborious manual functions like formatting and translations.  It truly shows its strength in increasing the efficiency of writers, editors, and publishers.

The problems with generative AI, however, are its inability to “have a voice”.  Lewis Wynne-Jones of ThinkData Works says, “AI is excellent at putting together cogent, but ultimately lifeless, writing.  Authors who have good ideas and execution but lack human touch will be most impacted by AI-generated writing.”  Basically, the writer needs to focus not only on what is being written, but what the writer…the human…brings to the process.  There is also the concern about the increased risk for dependence on AI tools, as the content may lose originality and creativity. 

If you yourself have used ChatGPT, you have seen that the quality of what it generates now is not Pulitzer Prize-winning stuff.  However, the more people provide it with text and prompts, it will only improve with time.  There is no denying that the adoption of artificial intelligence is revolutionizing how people communicate and create.  AI is here to stay…but the bottom line is that we need to use it mindfully and wisely.

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