Using AI to “assist” in “writing”

I am likely to see a subversive push of the AI assistance on the Internet. There will be attempts to placate the populace to “adapt” to the new “generative AI”.

Rags like Atlantic push out template writing samples. Their usual way is to first provide an out of context historical example (here in the linked article as an example of typewriters replacing the writing). Then they try to push in “limitations” and “infantilise” the impact of technology. I haven’t included any examples used in the link to generate the ideas, but picked out the important conclusion.

Talking to AI might be the most important skill of this century – The Atlantic

Like writing and coding before it, prompt engineering is an emergent form of thinking. It lies somewhere between conversation and query, between programming and prose. It is the one part of this fast-changing, uncertain future that feels distinctly human.

I don’t write for a living. I write precisely for idea generation. I write these blog posts as snippets for a future long form or to drive understanding in the process. For long, I have attempted to create a “second brain” and use some technology to identify and create filters for thoughts. I collect/hoard and create a database of ideas around linking several aspects. My ground process helps identify a singular thread in the “fog” of ideas. I do use the real-time grammar correction tool (Outwrite), but only to ensure that the written content is without errors. There are rephrasing options in the tool, but I hardly use them, barring specific circumstances. As a result, what you see here is a perfect replica of how the words form in my consciousness. (I am careful about the placement of the so-called “Oxford commas”) even if the entire process is subconcious.

A generative AI tool (even if it is for “generating ideas”) will completely eliminate original thinking and will represent a rehashed/regurgitated fallacy. That’s the fall out. Though it’s still very early days, but the impact (and limitations) of technology need to be understood.

I genuinely hope AI could instead be used for better research than creating soliloquies out of thin air, and instead use those expensive compute cycles for more productive work.

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