Where was that AI bot when I needed it? Or thought I did.
It’s ironic that the process of writing has become such a pleasure for me. Back in college researching and writing a short paper was sheer agony. I guess it was because I had more important things on my mind. These will be left to the reader’s imagination.
As I sit here pondering just where this piece will lead, for in many cases I just start writing and let the muse or whatever lead me on, a part of me feels I could use one of those new AI bot programs as my ghost writer.
Those such as I, who labor in the salt mine of the word processor for no gain other than the pleasure of the process, sometimes can’t help but envy big shots who hire ghost writers and sell a zillion copies of “their” books. Our material world denies those who create without hope of financial gain the credit they often deserve. Or more accurately, a benchmark other than money by which they can measure success.
The app that allows people to take credit for writing what appears to be original work has many educators worried. That a 22 year old student invented an app that detects that app is, I fear, merely the opening salvo in a literary arms race that will ultimately result in the bots’s favor. Having read my blogs “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie. Should It Be Crime?” (Oct. 16, 2022) and “Choosin’Your Delusion” (Sept.4, 2022) many readers know my take on the issues of truth, honesty and integrity in the information age.
Just when it seemed the art of intentional deception had reached its zenith, a guy gets elected to Congress based on a purely fictional persona, and, among many in Congress, this has stirred not a ripple of outrage. This is where institutionalized lying become the norm has taken us as a society.
Some of us can recall one of our schoolmarms warning us “when you cheat, you only cheat yourself.” That, of course, presupposes that you value learning and wish to cultivate good character in yourself. Compared to the lure of power and wealth, such aspirations often amount only to quaint abstractions.
There are apps that now also can create art that can’t be distinguished from original work. Such technology may well render the labors of those like my artist wife, for whom authenticity is everything, irrelevant. It threatens to suck much of the enthusiasm and all of the virtue out of her efforts.
I find myself, many decades later, with a deep appreciation for that teacher and with the fact that her words resonated with me even in my childish state.
It’s a pity that so many are so comfortable with taking the easy way. In every way. This has led to the deterioration in integrity that marks our technologic age. It’s an age when process of is no value. We value only the end product which itself has no value until it yields a cash reward. Thus so many gain the world but lose their souls.
These puny efforts of mine are far from masterpieces, but they are a glimpse, for better or for worse, into my true self, into my very process of living. They represent my attempt to remain genuine and honest in a world that, less and less, rewards such things.
It is enough for me that these little musings have a small but loyal following. Those who support and appreciate these random thoughts provide something that fame and money can’t ever replace, an affirmation that my flawed self, my true self, not some fictional creation of a carefully cultivated image, provides something of value to their lives.
For this you have my honest to goodness gratitude.