the writing life

Why AI Will Never Truly Replace Humans

I have a confession to make. I am a creative and I use AI.

Now, before you start throwing knives at my head, let me explain.

How I Use AI

I’ve used AI to help outline blog posts. Frank and I did some experimentation using AI to help us generate some blog content on demonolatry.org. We found it helps to give us direction for blog articles, thus making blogs faster to write. This said – we also discovered that AI cannot write decent content for you. First, sometimes the AI gets the information REALLY wrong. Second, AI’s are super repetitive. Sure, they can write a grammatically correct sentence, but I don’t think you’ll ever be able to use an AI to generate, for example, entire papers, blog posts, or even books without it being VERY obvious. It would require major editing and revision to make it your own, and to carry your unique voice. AI’s also can’t be consistent, generate a cohesive plot, or write prose that flows in a natural way so I wouldn’t expect AI generated books that would fool readers anytime soon. There will always be a “tell” that reveals the work to be AI generated. So, at least for the foreseeable future, I don’t see AI being a replacement for human writers. What AI is good for, for writers, is to help generate outlines for short, pithy blog posts. Thus making writing our blog posts much faster, and freeing up our time to do other things. So I will continue using AI for the purpose of blogging, even though I know that anything AI generated will have to be heavily edited, amended, and gone through.

An AI Image created by Starry AI with the perimeters Fantasy Book Cover. You’ll notice that this doesn’t even begin to really fit the covers in the genre, so…

I have used AI to generate illustrations for a NF book about Daemons (mostly as an experiment). I know! Before you kill me, hear me out. First — it’s hard to find artists for this type of work, and if you can find one – they’re super expensive (as they should be). When you know a book will not even be able to earn what the art would cost you, it’s hard to justify the expense. In the instance of the supernatural, AI generated art using DEAD artists for inspiration (I put it in as a parameter) figures with no faces, three arms, and hands with 7 fingers makes sense. I’m discussing the supernatural and paranormal. after all. And the fact is that I likely wouldn’t have hired an actual artist anyway. I would have left the book pictureless, or I would have purchased stock images/photos/graphics because it would be cheaper. Sorry, but those are the facts. What I’m selling is the content that I’ve written. Not the images that accompany it.

I have bought inspiration and divination decks created by AI because I found the images inspiring. On that same token, I’m just as likely to spend my money on decks created by actual human artists, too. Because it’s inspiring. It’s not an either/or type thing. I will also have the AI generator create images based on a sentence from a book so I can be inspired by whatever it brings up. Some of those images have been rather creepy.

This was an inspiration photo I had the AI generate for Hellishly Wicked, a paranormal romance about a Daemon and a Witch. I love how she’s taller than him and that neither of them have features and they’re both wearing bizarre hats that meld together. It was humorous. And what is that bowl hanging out of her ass?

So to recap, I will use AI for:

  1. Inspiration
  2. To create surreal images for the interior of a book if needed again.
  3. To help outline blog articles.

Now on to things I will not use AI for:

  • 1.To replace anything I need an ACTUAL artist for — like book cover art.
  • 2. Illustrations for a children’s book , or serious illustrations (right number of hands, heads, eyes, etc…) for books, and images specific to the content — no – that needs a REAL human artist.
  • 3. To write entire blogs (or other content) for me. Nope.
  • 4. Artwork for my home. No thanks. I’d prefer art by actual artists for that.

AI has its usefulness.

Now that I’ve kind of outlined some good uses for and some not so good uses for, I’d like to point out that there’s no point in throwing the baby out with the bathwater because there are useful ways to use AI to inspire creative minds. Are there people who will exploit AI (and artists/writers that AI works off of) to make $$? Yes. There are and we should expect that.

But in most instances, it won’t be as good as art and content generated by actual people. It won’t be worth anything, and there are a lot of projects where AI would fail miserably. I really don’t think AI can effectively replace actual humans. At least not at this point in time.

One of the imagines Starry AI created with the parameters “Hecate Mother Goddess, Gustave Dore”

I do understand that AI’s work by using existing artwork as a basis for its creation and I see the concern for intellectual property rights. It does the same thing with writing. On that same token, it does such a lackluster job of it, that it’s obvious when something is done via AI. I think as long as creators are being honest when they use AI (I fully gave the AI program credit in the book I used AI Images in), then consumers can be better informed about whether or not the work is a derivative of something someone else created, or if it’s an original work by an actual person.

I still think readers and those who collect art, and those who are hiring artists, will definitely choose humans over AI most of the time. We just have to remember that AI is a tool, not a replacement for, actual artists/writers/creatives – and that AI creations are basically derivatives – the equivalent of someone summarizing what’s already been done and not original in any sense of the word. That is one of the big messages we need to get out there. And we need to find ways to enforce digital copyrights. So yes, I see the problems with AI art and IP. But I think we’re going to have to find ways to work WITH AI because I don’t see it disappearing anytime soon.

So what do you think? Do you think AI will destroy art and other creative fields? Do you see AI as a useful tool? Feel free to discuss it (keep it civil, please) in the comments.

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at swordarkeereon@gmail.com

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