”AI do”. ChatGPT gives me its word(s) and pledges to cherish my job like its own every day

A decade back, you wouldn’t be able to describe yourself as a lover of language, models, and language models, all at once. But today, ChatGPT has changed all of that. Where writers earlier made a note to turn off their cell phones in order to get anything down on the page for real, today many fall back on these beeping monsters to get their outlines etched and fast. Humans can then go on and focus on more creative and strategic responsibilities like doing ten more burpees and crocheting a pirate patch. But what if all of us writers were left to do just that—once in a while, it’s okay, even nice—but what if the ChatGPTs of the world ate up our jobs and burped unemployment for all? According to rumors, ChatGPT might cause a human writer to become less popular in demand than Rahul Gandhi. Some fear that the technology could eventually replace human writers. I do agree. With faster human writers who don’t crib about distractions because they give in to them completely. Or boring human writers. Or worse, bored human writers. But where will the human writers go? Sure, they might start hitting their local Starbucks from now on only twice a week (tiny heartbreak), but they will still be writing. Or editing. Or proofreading, if it comes to the worst. However, there are chances they might just start writing with greater guts. It might just be all about who’s keeping it really real from here on. Because some are saying that the technology still lacks empathy and emotions still rare in most humans. 

Speaking in earnest, an AI writer might even make us better writers. By taking away our jobs and any sense of purpose, it will fill us up early on with that which makes a writer truly great. A taste for suffering, insecurity, and obscurity. Besetting us with the tragedy of the loss of our livelihoods, it might help us channel real pain onto the page, and getting used to disappointment and rejection might make us persist that much harder. True writers are anyway supposed to have other boring day jobs, or better, no jobs at all. 

‘’I’m a copywriter. I’m pretty sure artificial intelligence is going to take my job,’’ Henry Williams from the Guardian declared this year as soon as he found it took ChatGPT 30 seconds to write an article—for free—that would take his hours and reap him £ 500. Coming from the opinion pages of a fearless, independent, reader-funded publication, it sounded like a not low-key alarm for panic. Similar to Henry, I asked the AI to write an op-ed piece about ChatGPT taking someone’s job. Here’s what ChatGPT threw up:

While I can process vast amounts of data and generate responses quickly, I lack the creativity, empathy, and critical thinking skills that are essential for many professions. Overall, it is essential to view AI technology as a complement to human work rather than a replacement. 

Assuring? Diabolical. Apparently ChatGPT also ‘’told’’ Henry, it can already “replicate the writing styles of different authors”.

To be honest, I have messed with ChatGPT enough to know it only comes in handy till the point of research. After that, your writing needs its own two feet to stand on. Regardless, I asked the AI to do the above piece like Vladimir Nabokov would write it. It went like this:

Ladies and gentlemen, as ChatGPT, a language model of the most advanced kind, I find it intriguing that there should be such concerns as to whether or not I am capable of taking someone’s job. For, while it is true that I possess a certain facility with language, proficiency in data processing, and a certain talent for generating responses at lightning speed, I must confess that I am lacking in the qualities that make humans truly exceptional.

Next, I asked for PM Modi when it literally launched into a speech:

My dear citizens, I must address the concerns that have been raised about ChatGPT potentially taking away jobs from hardworking individuals. Let me assure you, there is no need to worry. As a nation, we have always been at the forefront of embracing new technology and advancements in artificial intelligence. We understand that these innovations can help us in achieving greater heights and leading us towards a brighter future…We must look at technology as an ally, not an adversary.

At this point, my mother stepped in so I asked it to do a ‘Shree Hita Ambrish Ji’ for her,

Hari Bol! My dear brothers and sisters, let us take a moment to reflect on the concerns that have been raised about ChatGPT taking away jobs from our fellow human beings. As we all know, everything in this world happens according to the divine plan of the Lord…

Salman Khan:

Hey, guys! What’s all this talk about ChatGPT taking away jobs? I mean, seriously, are we really worried about a machine stealing our thunder? Can ChatGPT really host a charity event and raise millions of dollars for a good cause? 

‘Write it in the tone of Harivansh Rai Bachchan Saahab’:

Jab ChatGPT ke baare mein baat hoti hai, toh mere dil mein ek sawal aata hai: kya yeh sach mein hamare jeevanon ka uddhar karne mein saksham hai? Kya yeh hamare andar ki soch aur kala ko sthapit karne mein saksham hai?

While all this seems dazzling enough, it is can’t-find-a-sharp-pencil scary for us writers. The good part is, while you can differentiate enough between the different tones of voice above, you wouldn’t most readily accept that Sallu Bhai or Nabokov would talk like that. By all means, the tech needs improvement. But the fact that it’s there—or like the writers say, a bad first draft is so much easier than a blank page—makes all the difference. Or at least a significant one and in many lives. Sure, nobody is elaborating on how AI can—if it ever will—start writing prose like the beating pulse of the Times and it might all feel like science fiction still but until how long? With me, a human writer, some days the writing is good—by good I mean it has its heart in place—and some days—I will sign this—it’s completely beyond redemption. However, with AI, it feels, the writing is consistent and consistently unalive. Yet. 

I, a (decent) (human) writer, am struggling with big bills for my caffeine and acetaminophen. Between not altering my dreams to suit my financial planning, not really getting my salary, breakup, or my salary breakup, working out three days a week (what new to have for lunch), and being a beacon of encouragement (to beggars at traffic signals), I have been adulting just fine or so I would like to believe. And I don’t want to be hit with a replacement for the only craft my little daft head can do sophisticatedly enough to earn a life of sophistication in this society. Why do our existential crises have to be so boring, centered around our professions and careers? Why don’t we get the more interesting crises to shovel like romantic betrayal or—or some family ancestry secret that makes us question who we are and go down the roots less traveled? 

Perhaps now that AI can do my writing for me, I can finally master that lauki halwa or take those few hundred yoga sessions before I successfully turn into a one-legged king pigeon. Oh, and how much have I missed this phrase? ‘’Nothing much, at a friend’s place!’’ Think: in all its prickliness and stealth, ChatGPT might not be too bad a personal writing assistant, being all up for a brainstorming huddle at 2 in the night. Your own scholarly wingman with fireworks of ideas to nail the next project before it gets you with a tingle of looming joblessness up your spine. Your personal suspense-horror thriller Stranger Things meets Dark Meets Wednesday. brings momentum to your writing life, but give it your time, words, and email ID, and before you know it has gobbled up your reason for existence. More toxic than your ex, but this one is (ahem) well-read. I have questions about this ChatGPT, and I have many. But the most pressing one at the moment is not whether it will definitely take my job. That’s a discussion with more nuances to it than a true crime podcast. All I want to know right now is: look, this technology is potentially dangerous to my livelihood. And yet, despite the perils and pain, I am drawn to it every day for simplifying my research and often my words. So does that make me a literary stunt double? Coz, that sounds cool.

This article first appeared in bizzbuzz.

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