How ChatGPT is Changing the Writing Landscape Part 2 by Tracy Krauss

Last time I talked in general terms about ChatGPT, the revolutionary new AI writing tool that is taking the world by storm. Like any technology, it has its pros and cons. Some writers feel that it is sounding our death nell, but as I explained last time, its responses often sound very formulaic and soulless and it does make mistakes. So, unless you “tweak” its responses multiple times (and make sure the facts are correct), the first draft will probably not be up to standards. Sounds a lot like writing any first draft.

As a teacher, I’ve attended several seminars on the topic. (Teachers are another group who are worried about ChatGPT’s ramifications.) However, one of my colleagues pointed out that when calculators came into being, there was a huge backlash from the educational community. Using a calculator was seen as cheating. These days, secondary students in most math courses couldn’t get by without a graphing calculator. The same goes for the use of computers for everything from research to formatting assignments. Times have changed and it looks like AI technology is here to stay. 

So, how can we as writers embrace this new technology without compromising our integrity? I decided to ask ChatGPT this very question. Here is the result:

“As a language model, ChatGPT can be a helpful tool for writers to generate ideas, improve their writing skills, and overcome writer’s block. However, it’s important for writers to use ChatGPT in a way that doesn’t compromise their creative integrity or originality.”

Here are some of the suggestions (in my own words):

Inspiration: Writers can use ChatGPT to generate ideas. Input a prompt and see what happens. This might help you come up with new and creative ideas or help when experiencing writer’s block.

Improve your writing: Input some of your own writing into ChatGPT and ask for feedback. It may identify areas that need improvement and make suggestions. Examples include: clarity of thought, grammar/usage issues, use of passive voice, etc. You can ask it specifically to find these areas of weakness and suggest rewrites. Stylistically, you can ask it to make your writing more engaging, although, as I said last time, its initial responses often sound formulaic. So, this might be a backward endeavour unless you ask it to rewrite something in the style of a certain author you admire. (For suggestions, see my previous post.)

Get the ball rolling: I think this would work well for blog posts or informational articles. You can input a prompt or topic that you know you want to write about, but then use it as an outline, changing it and fleshing out the ideas in your own words. In essence, use it like a research tool. (And then check the facts!)

    I was skeptical at first, but I am beginning to see that using ChatGPT is like any other tool. It is only as good as the person inputting the topics or questions, and even then, that person needs to use discretion. As a professional writer, I can see its usefulness, but it needs lots of guidance and manipulation. I would never defer exclusively to what it generates since that defeats the purpose of being a writer in the first place. I’m in it for the love of words and want to infuse my own creativity and originality into every piece I write. An AI bot can do a lot, but it will never replace that human element.

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    1 comment

    1. Martina Keast says:

      Wow! Thank you for sharing this Tracy

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