Fiction writers fear the rise of AI, but also see it as a story to tell

Fiction writers fear the rise of AI, but also see it as a story to tell
Fiction writers fear the rise of AI, but also see it as a story to tell

AI is a topic worth discussing, and not just in science fiction.
THE NEW YORK Artificial intelligence poses a threat to the livelihood of many authors of books as well as the concept of creativity itself. This summer, more than 10,000 of them signed on to an open letter from the Authors Guild that AI businesses refrain from using copyrighted works without authorization or payment.

AI is a topic worth discussing, and not just in science fiction anymore

For an increasing number of novelists and short story writers, AI has entered the narrative and is as present in the imagination as politics, the epidemic, or climate change. These authors simply need to follow the news to picture a world that has been upended.

Artificial intelligence both terrifies and fascinates me. “There is an inherent fear in being replaced by non-human intelligence, but there is also hope for divine understanding and the accumulation of all knowledge,” said Helen Phillips, whose next book “Hum” portrays the story of a woman and mother who loses her work to AI.

“We’ve been seeing more and more about AI in book proposals,” remarked Ryan Doherty, vice president and editorial director at Celadon Books, which just signed Fred Lunzker’s novel “Sike,” which features an AI psychotherapist.

“At the moment, it’s the zeitgeist. And whatever is prevalent in culture today filters into fiction, according to Doherty.

Sean Michaels’ “Do You Remember Being Born?” by Bryan Van Dyke’s “In Our Likeness,” about a bureaucrat and a fact-checking program with the power to alter facts, and A.E. Osworth’s “Awakened,” about a gay witch and her titanic battle with AI, are other AI-themed books anticipated in the next two years.

As a result of being “continually on the lookout for what’s percolating on the edge of societal change,” crime author Jeffrey Diger, known for his thrillers set in modern-day Greece, is working on a novel that touches on AI and the metaverse.

In order to answer the most human questions, authors are turning to AI.

The title character in Sierra Greer’s “Annie Bot” is an AI mate created for a human male. Greer said that using a robot lover allowed her to “explore desire, respect, and longing in ways that felt very new and strange to me” as well as her character’s “urgent desire to please.”

Amy Shearn’s “Animal Instinct” was inspired by the pandemic as well as her personal experience with utilizing dating apps after being divorced lately.

She remarked, “It’s so strange how using apps, you start to feel like you’re going person-shopping. And I pondered, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could really pick out the best qualities from all of the people you meet and sort of piece them together to create your ideal person?”

Naturally, she continued, “I don’t think anyone really understands what their ideal partner is, because so much of what attracts us to partners is the unexpected, the ways in which individuals surprise us. Nevertheless, it felt like an intriguing starting point for a book.

Some authors actively use AI in their work as well as writing about it.

The novella “Death of An Author,” which journalist Stephen Marche wrote using AI earlier this year, was inspired by everyone from Haruki Murakami to Raymond Chandler. The thriller in verse “I Am Code,” released this month and produced by the AI program “code-davinci-002,” was written by screenwriter and comedian Simon Rich in collaboration with Brent Katz and Josh Morgenthau. Werner Herzog, a filmmaker, reads the audiobook version.

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Osworth, a trans woman, wished to take back the magic from “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling in order to remedy her remarks that have angered many in the trans community. They thought AI should speak for AI because they were concerned their imaginary AI in their novel sounded too human.

Osworth created a basic software that would provide a more mechanical type of voice, drawing inspiration from the writings of Machiavelli and others.

“I like to remark that CHATgpt is a Ferrari and what I created is a skateboard with a single square wheel. However, the skateboard with a single square wheel piqued my curiosity considerably more, they claimed.

In honor of the poet Marianne Moore, Michaels’ latest book is centered on Marian, a poet, and Charlotte, an AI. The novel, according to him, is about parenting, work, community, as well as “the implications of this technology for art, language, and our sense of identity.”

He created a software that would generate prose and poetry because he thought the spirit of “Do You Remember Being Born?” demanded the usage of true AI material. He also employs an alternate format in the book so readers can tell when he’s employing AI.

Marian is discussing some of her work with Charlotte in one chapter.

“The previous day’s labor consisted of a number of glass churches. I worriedly read it again. Turns of phrase that I had previously regarded as beautiful but now found to be incomprehensible,” Michaels says. “Charlotte had merely shocked me; I would suggest a line or a section of a line, and what the system spit back would have me think differently. This surprise had me in its grip.

The AI continues, saying, “I had taken an algorithmic rage for the truth.”

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