I have watched the conversations around AI and writing unfold over the last few weeks. The writing community seems to be freaking out.
Well, that’s not wholly true. Hacks are freaking out. People who phone it in are freaking out. People who don’t know, or care to learn, how to write in a way that connects with and centers people are freaking out. As they should be.
People who have staked their livelihoods and given their creative energies to writing listicles that exist only for the reason of generating page views, writing press releases for events and products that exist only to separate money from the gullible, and who write for search engines and other machines should not be surprised when a machine can replace them.
A bot can duplicate syntax and vocabulary, but it cannot think of a person they love and write with them in mind. A bot cannot write from its own experience of love and loss. A bot cannot feel anger and want to share it; a bot cannot want anything, really.
It may be that an infinite number of monkeys, typing on an infinite number of typewriters, will eventually produce a text that is an exact copy of Hamlet. But none of those monkeys will understand revenge or love or betrayal. And critically, none of those monkeys will understand what they wrote, will be moved by the writing, or will look forward to sharing it with their reader.