ChatGPT. Adobe Premiere Pro. Tome. These are just a few of the more popular AI programs out there right now. So what are they and what do they do?
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and Oxford Languages defines it as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”
AI programs are being used at an exponential rate and have been embraced by businesses everywhere. They are being used to write project briefs, solve problems, create illustrations, design books covers, and narrate audiobooks. They’re even being trained to write novels.
How does one train a computer to write a book? Simple – by feeding it the works of thousands of authors, generally without their knowledge. The program then learns how to recreate the ‘voice’ of an established author and spits out a novel that has the same tone and tropes as that author’s work.
A lot of people are excited by this. More books means more to read, right? While this is true to an extent, it’s all to do with quality. Amazon was flooded in 2023 with AI generated books and the quality was definitely lacking. The ideas were not original but are a mish-mash of idea stolen from human authors and regurgitated out as a passable novel.
The same goes for AI narrated audiobooks. Audiobooks can be an expensive project for authors, and therefore it can be out of their reach to have their books turned into audios. Audiobooks are essential to the accessibility of readers who rely on narration or text-to-voice readers. The AI program learns from human narrators, and mimics their tone, emotion, and delivery to narrate books at a fraction of the price. Sounds good, yeah? But it comes at a cost to humans. All AI comes at a cost to us mere mortals.
Human authors lose sales as their books get lost in the saturation of AI generated novels. Human narrators lose work and books end up being narrated by a program that has used those very humans to learn how to emote. Human design artists lose work because novels are published with book covers created by a computer.
The short-term end result is a cheaper product for the consumer. The long-term end result? Let’s just say, if humans are pushed out of their creative spaces by AI, then who will be left to train future AI programs? No one, because AI will be the death of the creative industry.
Ultimately, AI is artificial. Don’t forget that. No matter how many stolen novels, audiobooks, and cover artwork it is trained on, it simply cannot replicate human creativity.
Do these AI programs have a place? Certainly. Should they replace humans just to save a few bucks? I definitely don’t believe so.