Thoughts: The Wolf Is Coming!

Yesterday I read an article claiming that when it comes to language and writing, we will reach singularity sometime in the next seven years.

For those of you who are not science fiction fans, or followers of the science of artificial intelligence, Singularity is the the point where computers will become as smart as we are. Able to write, think and make decisions as well as humans. But without the heart and conscience that is part of what makes humans, human.

It is coming faster in writing. We are to a point where ChatGPT, an algorithm that simulates natural human speech and writing can write convincing copy on almost anything. Most people can not tell the difference between human written articles and AI written articles. And it is getting better fast.

Will AI writing put writers out of business? It is entirely possible. I would like to think that there is something unique in the humaness of writing, in the “voice” of a writer that a machine cannot emulate, but I am not so sure. For years I did marketing copywriting, and was often called on to write articles, speeches, corporate emails, etc, in the “voice” of some executive or another. I got pretty good at it. I don’t think one single person ever doubted the ghost writing I did was anyone except the person I was emulating.

And AI is getting there fast.

What will be fascinating is to see how people value heart, soul, and the person in the writing. Or if people will notice. So far, there is perfectness in most AI writing that I can see, a blandness. But that likely can be overcome as well. And soon. Will we be able to hear a human voice behind the writing? Or will we care? Will we writers be out of work?

I once got some advice from another writer. “Let your readers get to know you.” he said. “Talk to them as well as write to them. Let them inside. As you reveal yourself, they will care about you, and through that, your writing will have more value to them.” I hope he was right. It’s something I have tried to do here and in other places I write – to share bits and pieces of myself. Things people can relate to.

With AI writing moving quickly to the mainstream, that realness will be more important I think. I hope. Without it we lose something of our humanness. Real connection.

When I was in college, I remember reading a science fiction story – I wish I could remember the title and author, but it was probably 40 years ago. In it computers had made everything perfect. Including performance art. Robotic actors had taken over stage and screen. Robotic musicians played not for note perfection in concerts, pushing real artists into the dark corners of the city, plying their wonderful, but inevitably flawed trades.

But realness had a renaissance. People began to tire of perfection. They wanted humaness. Connection. Individualness. And so began a battle for the soul of the arts. Are we on the cusp of that? Or will humaness lose value in the name of cost cuttle, perfection, and a safe uniformity? I have no idea.

But no matter. I will continue to write. I will continue to paint. Preach. Teach, Give talks. Peel away little snippets of soul in hopes that people are touched. And if they are not, at least I will be true to my spirit. It is my belief there will be a few who care. Who sense the difference and respond to it. A smaller crowd perhaps, but devout. So will some of you. And our world will be better for it, whether they know it or not.

The wolf is coming. But remember what happened to the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. He was recognized. May it always be so. And may it also be so that soul and heart are recognized, and matter.

Be well. Travel Wisely,


Tags: #AI #ChatGPT


    • I think we are in a time where we are, as a culture, going to have to rethink work and what we do and where our self value comes from. As technology takes away individual skills in the name of progress, if our culture does not have a replacement, much will come done, get lost and displaced.

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