by Joseph T. Sinclair
As a writer do you know who your competitors are? It’s already evident that those authors who master the digital apparatus will be the professional writers of the future. But there’s something else too. I didn’t say someone else. I said something else. It’s the up and coming soul of the digital age.
That something is here today. It’s writing with artificial intelligence (AI).
It turns out that after many false starts the capability of AI is accelerating. Ray Kurzweil, a noted digital oracle, predicts that AI will equal human intelligence by 2029. Digital machines will become as smart as people. And some of the machines will be writers.
Unfortunately, we don’t have to wait. Digital machines via AI are writing today and making a good living (so to speak) doing it. Visit Narrative Science (http://narativescience.com). Many of the news and sports stories you read have been written by digital machines, and consumers give the machines the edge when compared to their human counterparts.
Read all about it in Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat. We writers wouldn’t have to believe that machines can replace us except for the fact that AI software is already taking over everyday professional writing chores.
Faced with this rather ominous fact, it’s easy to say that news and sports stories are just a rendition of facts and thus susceptible to processing by AI. However, such stories are also enriched by an author’s commentary that no digital machine can duplicate. That’s true. Today. The point is, that may not be true in 2029. What then?
Will human writers become passé? Definitely not. Will human writers have serious competition from digital machines? It appears so. And it won’t happen at a recognized moment—at a well-defined milestone. It will happen gradually. There will be less and less writing jobs available over the next decades and less and less writers employed in processing information.
Today at the lofty heights of the information explosion when content is becoming more valuable than ever before, writers may be reaching their peak in regard to their role in society. Is it all downhill from here?
The future is hard to predict, particularly in this disruptive digital age. One thing seems sure, however. Writers must fit themselves securely into the digital apparatus so as to agilely translate their creativity into digital products the public can consume. The competition is heating up.
The author of this article, Joseph T. Sinclair, is the author of twenty How To books published by national publishers.
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©2014 Joseph T. Sinclair. All rights reserved.