Will AI become our unwanted and uninvited co-author?

The future of writing in the age of AI will be shaped by how writers and the industry navigate the complexities of the new technology

Updated: Feb 20, 2024 06:28:10 PM UTC
Image: Shutterstock

ChatGPT was launched in November 2022, and today, it has 180 million users. Google Bard was initially announced in February 2023, with a vague release date, as it was believed that Google felt the pressure from ChatGPT's success. However, Google eventually launched its Gemini in December 2023; it is built from the ground up for multimodality, seamlessly integrating reasoning across text, images, video, audio, and code.

Both Gemini and GPT-4 can handle various types of data, but Gemini is better in some areas, like problem-solving, math, and creating code, making it stand out in AI technology.

However, let's focus on text-based content. It is the most fundamental element in the digital realm, particularly when video is not involved. Since the advent of video is relatively recent, text has remained at the forefront of everything digital, ranging from blogs, newsletters, and email content to website pages, case studies, and copywriting.

The introduction of AI in writing, especially with recent technologies like Google's Gemini, has started a big discussion about how AI might change writing and affect writers' jobs. This change is complex and involves different views from writers across the globe who are getting used to this new technology.

Also Read: How to prepare for AI-generated misinformation

Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, quotes, "ChatGPT will likely play out exactly as innovator's dilemma suggests. To an expert in any given field, it has worse answers. But most people don't have access to experts for everything, so it actually is a productivity boost to everyone else."

The global AI writing assistant software market was valued at $359.8 Million in 2020 and is projected to reach $1,022.3 Million by 2028, expanding at a CAGR of 14.2 percent during the forecast period.

Setting aside the aspect of creativity momentarily, as obviously it takes a lot of Machine Learning to do that, we can't ignore these AI tools' fundamentally infinite capacity to churn basic types of content writing.

As of today, there are currently over 200+ different AI writing tools available in the market, indicating a rapidly growing industry. This abundance of options provides anyone with a wide range of choices to suit their specific needs and preferences. Each tool offers unique features, such as generating different content formats (e.g., blog posts, emails, ads, social media content, website copy), adapting to different writing styles and tones, and integrating with other software and tools. That's scary for the writers, right?

Also Read: AI is coming for all our jobs... Or is it?

AI's influence on the writing industry is profound and cannot be ignored. Tools like AI-powered grammar checkers and content generators have revolutionised how we approach writing tasks.

Roles like mid-level editors, social media writers, junior content writers, SEO blog writers, and many such beginners to the mid-profile can become less available as these tools can very easily (with accuracy) do things super fast. However, these tools also bring challenges, particularly regarding creativity and originality.

When it comes to writers, they either use it and make themselves more productive or surrender and find a new career path. It's not about saying that AI writing tools are creative and innovative enough to write movie scripts and a whole novel, no, but it's going towards that very fast and coming to the writers soon.

Platforms once buzzing with freelance projects like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and Guru now echo with whispers of 'AI-powered content'. Also, popular options like Jasper, Writesonic, ShortlyAI, Copysmith, and many others have their own strengths and target audiences.

This vast number of AI writing tools highlights the increasing adoption of AI in the writing industry. 2023 proved to be the 'test and trial' year, so it might not have shown a drastic or dramatic change or shift in the writing jobs, but 2024 will have a major impact on it as Google has given the green signal of 'AI content'—meaning if the AI content is helpful, then it can rank too, that's revolutionary in terms of SEO and digital marketing.

Also Read: Ten ways AI is transforming marketing

Tools like Surfer SEO and many such devices are incredibly powerful in creating a full-fledged blog that will rank because it satisfies all the criteria given by Google's SERP.

The concerns regarding AI's impact on the writing industry are multifaceted. There's the worry about job displacement due to AI's ability to perform routine writing tasks. There's also the issue of data privacy and the ethical use of AI in writing.

AI can take over mundane tasks, allowing writers to focus on areas where human creativity and ingenuity are irreplaceable, like storytelling and persuasive writing. The future of writing in the age of AI will be shaped by how writers and the industry navigate these complexities.

Will AI be an unwanted and uninvited co-author or a welcome ally in the realm of creating content?

Bhavik Sarkhedi is an experienced India-based writer with bylines in prestige publications worldwide.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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