Why I (Don’t Use ChatGPT to) Write
People have asked me how I use AI, particularly ChatGPT, to write or edit my articles. I’ve always proudly admitted I don’t use it — at all.
Some of you may find this surprising given that, firstly, I write about AI, and secondly, I presumably know quite well the potential and proven merits of these tools — which are undeniable — and also the areas where they fall short and should thus be avoided. I’m aware that I enjoy an enviable edge to leverage generative AI tools. Anyone in my position would correctly think it’s ridiculous to not use ChatGPT — from a competitive lens, I’m imposing a strong handicap onto myself.
To explain why, I don’t have to resort to dismissing arguments like “ChatGPT produces low-quality prose.” That’s true now but GPT models will improve — maybe so much that they’ll become better than the best living writers (I don’t dare bet against AI). Tech-savvy, open-minded creators will take ChatGPT as a companion and overproduce and overshadow folks like me. How can I compete against such a force of nature?
This article is a selection from The Algorithmic Bridge, an educational newsletter whose purpose is to bridge the gap between AI, algorithms, and people. It will help you understand the impact AI has in your life and develop the tools to better navigate the future.
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The pleasure of typing these words
I don’t want to fight steel swords with a stick. Why I don’t use ChatGPT, then? As an AI writer, I obviously don’t dislike technology. Neither do I advocate for stopping AI progress — although I support doing it more conscientiously. And even if I acknowledge we writers have a big problem looming over us, I think AI tools are merely a symptom, not the root cause.
I found the explanation — which applies to me but might not apply to any other writer who rejects AI — in George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Why I Write.” Before getting into the…