Books written by ChatGTP. Is the writing profession in danger?

American writer Brett Schickler has just released a 30-page illustrated children’s book. It took him just a few hours to complete the task. It’s for sale on Amazon: $2.99 for the Ebook and $9.99 for the print book.

To do his work, Schickler used ChatGPT, a chat system based on the GPT-3 Artificial Intelligence Language Model. 

Introduced last November, and despite its limitations, ChatGPT has caused commotion around the world. The tool is capable of creating compelling texts almost instantaneously. 

The versatility, efficiency and usability of ChatGPT has meant that not only Brett Schickler has used this tool to write a book. Many others have. In fact, there are already several hundred Ebook titles, available in the Kindle store, written using this artificial intelligence.

Who is the author, the writer or ChatGPT?

A quick answer could be ChatGPT, since the tool does not even need to be given a topic to start writing. By giving it a generic title, the chatbot has enough to start inventing.

However, ChatGPT is still a technological tool that needs instructions from a human to work. The author has to tell the ChatGPT what to do and how to do it in order for it to start creating. The author has to develop the work that the chatbot is going to execute, so you could say it’s a team effort.

Will ChatGPT and other AI tools replace writers?

Or perhaps this question could be the following: will the day come when the Nobel Prize for Literature will be won by someone non-human? Hard to say. 

Although Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly present in many personal and professional routines, it is not easy to imagine what impact it will have in areas where, like writing, emotion and imagination have so much specific weight. 

AI, in addition to writing programming codes, already writes university essays and composes videos, poetry and stories. Will it compete with the artistic creativity of human beings?

Returning to the question with which we opened this epigraph, shortly after the ChatGTP was presented, a text circulated in the networks that combined the style of three Latin American Nobel Prize winners: Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Pablo Neruda.

The text began with the following sentence “loneliness had taken over the city, like a thick fog that took over every corner”. It is true that the sentence does not respond to the canons of the highest literature that a Nobel Prize winner is supposed to have. The result is clearly perfectible. However, it is more than worthy.

AI obeys, it doesn’t understand

That’s the way it is. At the moment, tools like ChatGTP, or similar, imitate, they do not understand. For this reason, the longer the text is, the more the inconsistencies between the beginning and the end of the text will be appreciated. This is because it is always the last sentences written that determine the following sentences. In the end, in this process, the overall coherence of the discourse is lost.

At present, artificial intelligence lacks the ability to create characters that live deep conflicts with which the reader can identify.

Creativity in AI

The fact that AI is not emotional does not mean that it is not capable of developing creative elements, but, for the moment, this creativity, in order to be truly original – and not simply a copy of a copy – must be used, guided and instructed by a creator. 

AI can help the artist to sketch faster, to perfect his own techniques or to do different things. But, for now, AI is not capable of developing its creativity from scratch. 

Moreover, human error, imperfection generated in the moment, can lead to a special element in the arts, something that AI perfection will never achieve. As the Australian musician and writer Nick Cave said “data cannot suffer, it has no inner being, it survived nothing”.

An antidote to the blank sheet of paper

Or against the lack of ideas. This is a point where the writer – and, by definition, the artist – can find help from AI.

AI tools allow the writer to be more agile in the stage of developing ideas or a previous outline. It also represents a help in not having to start from the blank page. However, in the creation of the artistic product, human creativity still has an elasticity, purpose and vision that is still beyond the reach of AI.

AI has no capacity to emote or think itself. How could it create anything original? Carl Jung, a pioneer of psychoanalysis, believed that creation is not the result of the intellect but of the instinct to play: “The creative mind plays with the objects it loves”. Perhaps there, in the capacity to love and hate, lies precisely the irreplaceable heart of human creativity.