Ruining the market?
I read an article about how ChatGPT is now the author or co-author of over 200 books on Amazon. It is expected that there are many more that haven’t disclosed the use of ChatGPT in the writing. I briefly toyed with the idea, thinking that it might help me be more confindent in my writing. And perhaps help me make progress on the book idea I have been noodling for a few years now.
In the brief experiment I ran, I found that the writing wasn’t very engaging. Yes, it could tell a story, but I don’t think I would want to read a very long book from ChatGPT. But maybe that is where the current trend has it right. The current trend seems to be illustrated children’s books. Perhaps Chat GPT just need to grow up a bit more to be a great writer?
This brings me to the thought… What happens if the only content that ChatGPT (or future iterations and competitors) has to learn from is content that is created by itself or others like it?
This has definite potential impact to writers who make a living from their craft. If the amount of content I can consume is finite (and it is), and the number of people is finite (and it is), what happens when you flood the market with more content than can be consumed? How do we ensure that we still have new fresh content out there if we make it impossible for authors to make a living? I don’t get the impression that being an author is an easy career to get into, and make a living at. Is this going to make it harder?
A writers aid?
Perhaps there is a positive use though. Is it cheating if a writer uses ChatGPT for research? How about using ChatGPT for editing assistance? Research provided by ChatGPT? Does that remove the role of the copy editor?
I asked ChatGPT what roles it will replace in the publishing industry. Here is the reply:
What roles in the publishing industry will ChatGPT or similar replace?
As an AI language model, ChatGPT and similar technologies are unlikely to completely replace any roles in the publishing industry, but they can certainly augment and streamline certain aspects of the industry.
For example, ChatGPT can help automate certain tasks, such as proofreading, copy editing, and even content creation, which can save time and reduce costs for publishers. However, it is important to note that these technologies are still in their infancy and there are limitations to their capabilities, particularly when it comes to tasks that require subjective judgment or creativity.
In terms of specific roles, ChatGPT may have an impact on certain entry-level positions, such as editorial assistants or proofreaders, as some of their tasks may be automated by AI technologies. However, it is unlikely that higher-level positions, such as editors-in-chief or publishers, will be replaced by AI in the near future, as these roles require a combination of strategic thinking, industry knowledge, and interpersonal skills that are difficult to replicate with technology.
Overall, while ChatGPT and similar technologies may change the way certain tasks are performed in the publishing industry, they are unlikely to completely replace human roles. Instead, they can be used to enhance and complement the work of human professionals.
I usually have an optimistic view of things. I know there are some very disruptive ways that ChatGPT and other similar technology is going to impact the way we do things today. Disruption is often scary and for some people it will be very chaotic and detrimental. But, perhaps, the efficiencies and improvements in the way publishing happens, and improving the ease of getting an idea out into the world can be a good thing? Does this mean that we can make it easier for people with great ideas, but low confidence writing skills, to get great books and content out there?
I like the concept of ChatGPT. I hope that ChatGPT and other similar technologies become great tools that are good at what they do. I hope that they multiply our capabilities as humans, rather than replace us.
What do you think?