One of my three yet-to-be published novels, simply titled A.I., is sitting—or rather rotting—in my computer, written three years ago when I was inspired by the thought of whether artificially intelligent creatures could mingle successfully with human society. Although it was a 180-degree turn from my usual tomes about suspense and murder, I absolutely enjoyed writing it, allowing my imagination to explode and meld fantasy with reality. Now, I find out I could have utilized an AI platform like Reedsywhich uses machine learning technology to compose 90,000-word novels in a matter of seconds—to do the heavy lifting.

Well, golly gee! Bless Reedsy’s little heart! To think I wasted two years of my life writing and editing that masterpiece. Of course, there are many other AI platforms from which to choose and ChatGPTis likely the most widely known. I am proud of having written A.I. without the help of an AI app. I am also proud to be OG when it comes to human creativity. I thrive on storytelling and creating characters. How lazy can humans be to rely on a software program to write a novel. What’s the point of education and skill honing if in the end, a software program will do all the work for you?

Can you imagine if Leo Tolstoy used an artificial intelligence tool to write War and Peace had it been available to him in his lifetime?

Digital Grievances

Remember last year when SAG/AFTRA went on strike for 118 days? One of their complaints was studios using artificial intelligence to scan actors’ faces to digitally generate performances. Imagine the millions of dollars to be saved by doing that! What a concept. Pay an actor once and use his or her likeness forever in numerous films. No more tolerating the mood swings of prima donnas on set when you have to only deal with her digital image. Brilliant! The union ended the 3-plus month strike in November with a tentative agreement. We’ll have to wait and see where this goes.

Speaking of digital images, last month, pornographic pictures of Taylor Swift emerged on the Internet, bringing to the forefront artificial intelligence’s ability to instantaneously create fake images of the megastar that look authentic. I did not see them—nor do I want to see them—but the fact that this technology is being used for nefarious purposes cannot be a good thing for society. If fake images of Swift can be generated with AI, then fake images can be created of anyone. And they have been, with tragic results. One example is a 14-year-old girl who recently took her own life after being bullied mercilessly when fake nude photos of her were circulated at her school.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Clearly, artificial intelligence can be utilized for all sorts of good purposes: Education, lead generation, healthcare, customer relationship management, fraud management and more. Robots used as cleaners or to pull merchandise from shelves is progress in my opinion. But robots used in place of wait staff is downright anti-human. Most egregious, and like other emerging technologies, the temptation for using AI for perverse reasons is high. And if you don’t have the fame and money like Swift to dispute damaging faux images as well as to successfully defend yourself and your reputation, then the future looks bleak for us all.

While I certainly wouldn’t mind having an AI-powered robot to clean my house, I’d never be inclined to consider a human-like robot for a boyfriend. Creepy is putting it mildly. And while my main issue with artificial intelligence is in the way it is being used to create manuscripts, seemingly out of thin air, I have to wonder if this is the new wave of creativity. Every day, more and more AI programs become available to businesses and the public. Only time will tell in what way we end up utilizing their benefits.

Still the question remains: Can anyone really differentiate between the fake and the real? And will anyone care in the long run?