Writing, AI, and Me

10 April, 2024

In the months between the day on which I published this post and now, a couple or three people asked me if I’ve changed my mind about using AI tools like ChatGPT for writing. The answer to that question is still no.

Here’s why:

I write to share thoughts and ideas. But I also write to learn. The process of researching then writing about a topic or subject helps me focus my thinking about that topic or subject. It helps me form opinions. It helps me form ideas. In many cases, writing raises questions which I feel compelled to answer.

If I use a tool like ChatGPT to write, I’m missing out on that learning process. All I’m learning how to do is prompt a chatbot. I’m learning how to outsource my work and to outsource my thinking.

A few people have told me that using ChatGPT and its relatives can make me a more efficient writer, a more productive writer. One or two stated that using AI can make me a better writer. That by letting AI do supposed menial work, I’ll have time to ponder more important matters, more important topics.

I disagree with that. For me, writing isn’t about efficiency or productivity. Writing isn’t about churning out more words. Writing has a deeper, stronger meaning for me.

What’s caught my interest is important to me — perhaps only for a certain space in time. Perhaps for the longer term. If I’m not taking the time to engage with that topic or subject, and if I’m not writing about it, what’s the point of even considering it?

Why should I let an AI tool do the heavy mental lifting for me? Why should I let one form my opinions or do my thinking for me? All in the name of doing more and doing it quickly.

Thanks, but no. I’ll keep writing without the aid of AI chatbots. Maybe that makes me archaic, but it’s also more fulfilling to me in so many ways.

Scott Nesbitt