The Inclusion of AI within the Publishing Industry: What You Need to Know
Within the last year, large companies such as Google and Amazon have been unveiling their plans to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (also known as AI) into their companies. AI roles have varied from search engines to Question and Answer forums that replace customer service. The addition of AI to companies such as the publishing industry has caused a lot of frustration and confusion. Within the publishing world, fear has spread that the technological achievement of artificial intelligence’s ability to accomplish tasks such as writing will soon surpass the need for flesh-and-blood writers. During this turbulent time, facts have become muddled with fear, making it difficult to decipher the truth. In order to combat this confusion, here are three facts that you need to know about AI influencing the publishing industry.
The Difference between AI Tools and AGI
AI tools and Artificial General Intelligence (also known by its acronym AGI) are vastly different. Because their names are so similar, the public tends to confuse AGI with the AI tools that our society heavily relies upon. However, AI tools and AGI have very different roles in our modern technology.
AI tools were created as digital assistants for internet users. These tools exist as search engines such as Google, text-to-speak modules, and Question and Answer forums which can be found on websites. For example, ChatGPT—the popular AI tool—is at its core a simple language processing tool with the ability to mimic actual conversation with the user. This tool does not have independent thought nor can it act outside the will of its user. ChatGPT—and tools like it—is simply the next step toward the evolution of our constantly developing technology. AI tools cannot act independently of their base functions; instead, they can only operate on the programming administered by their creator.
However, Artificial General Intelligence is completely different in its functions. AGI does not exist outside fiction and blockbuster movies. AGI is not an existing tool but a theorized entity that is a thinking and living member of future technology. Unlike AI tools which are limited to one basic function, scientists theorize that AGI would have the ability to adapt and learn any skill or task with no limitations. They could out-think programming and finagle technology to their own whims. AGI is the terror that we recognize from fiction, within sci-fi novels and movies, and is theorized to be extremely potent and dangerous. But to the public’s knowledge, AGI is still more of a scientific myth than an actual device.
However, most individuals confuse the terrifying, fictional AGI program as the AI tools our technology relies upon. Knowing the difference between AI tools and AGI will help you to understand how such technology puts industries—such as publishing houses—at risk of being ruled by a machine.
AI Tools Now Have the Ability to Write Manuscripts
AI tools have been given the capability to write manuscripts. Within the last few years, creators have started to rely upon this tool in order to write transcripts within the perimeters given by its users. These works of literature range from simple articles to full-length novels, completely written and edited by artificial intelligence. With this knowledge, the fear begins to rise as the writing community concludes that AI tools such as ChatGPT could one day have the ability to take their jobs.
This is a very real reality. AI tools now have the ability to draft whole manuscripts within a fraction of the time that it takes flesh-and-blood writers. However, these works of literature written by AI are considerably stiffer and more robotic. But the more the tools are used, the more fluid the AI’s writing becomes, causing concern to arise for future writing jobs.
Writers Have Begun to Strike against AI
Stemming from the fear of AI, writers have begun to go on strike and to demand better pay and better perks. In response, companies are starting to put limitations in place for AI tools. Writers in the cities of Los Angeles and New York City have taken a stand and begun to bring light on the dangers of AI tools stealing writing jobs. They march in the streets and warn the community of AI stealing future writing jobs.
These peaceful protests have begun to stir up action. Congress has begun to consider the polarizing hazards of AI tools used within the writing world. Publishing companies are drafting contracts that include a clause prohibiting authors from using AI tools to write articles and essays. Change has begun to stem from this growing fear of AI, hopefully changing the outcome of job loss in the future.
Writers need to be aware of these changes and of the effects of AI on potential publishing deals. Because of these peaceful protests, the publishing industry has begun to act to protect their writers, but independent publishers are just as susceptible to these dangers as the larger companies. Knowing the facts can help considerably to guard publishers and writers from the growing threat of AI tools.
Tensions will no doubt continue to rise as writers vie for the government’s attention to place laws around AI tools. However, in the meantime, it is our duty to stay informed. Read articles about AI tools. Research the proposed AI laws in your state. And remember that as Christian writers it is and always has been our calling to separate the facts from the fiction in order to present readers with the truth they need to read.
About the Author
Victoria Simmons graduates Pensacola Christian College in December with her degree in Professional Writing. Since she was eight years old, she has had a passion to 1) serve God, and 2) write while she serves Him. She loves using writing to educate people on gluten-free sensitivity and to spread the Gospel. She is also the author of an internationally sold young adult fantasy novel The Twins of Prophecy which can be purchased on Amazon.