This Saturday at 7pm EST (tomorrow!), I'll be on What The Book Podcast with the wonderful Dzintra Sullivan, Sean R. Frazier, and Peyton Storm. I'll talk about my recent award-winning book The New Empire, as well as my 52-book project Author Versus AI that I'll be doing next year.
Check out the live podcast here: https://bookers.podbean.com/ - it's an interactive session, so you can jump in and ask questions! Looking forward to hearing from you then.
A look at artificial intelligence versus the human brain
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like cheaters.
Technically, AI isn’t cheating. It’s a tool, like any other tool. But… is it really?
What’s the point of creative writing if you’re having a program do it for you? Granted, you might edit what the AI program produces for you. And, yes, you’ll input data about what you’d like to have come out at the other end. But are you really the “writer” if you’re having the bits and bytes do all the work for you? That feels an awful lot like people who plagiarize others’ work. The motivation behind it seems to be to gain accolades without effort. To get a free payday. But that leaves the ones who are actually doing the work out of the loop.
And that’s sort of what AI seems to be enabling — look at Hollywood’s current fight against AI. Their argument? In short, that it’s money over humanity. That studios are stealing their faces, their talent, making it digital, and creating electronic ghosts that the execs can use — and profit off of — forever. Meanwhile, the people who own those faces are out of work.
To me, creativity IS the point of creating. It’s why there are still old-school things like paint and paintbrushes even if we can do everything digitally these days. And digital art CAN be created beautifully — as long as you’re not having a computer program do everything for you. As long as you’re the brain behind the creation, not the tool behind the brain.
That’s not even mentioning what’s being lost in this whole process. There have been numerous conversations and studies about how peoples’ brains are literally CHANGING as we’ve gotten more reliant on technology that does the thinking for us. Our memories are going to hell because our cell phones and computers hold all the information for us.
We’re at a turning point right now. At this moment, AI can’t do it better than us, at least when it comes to creativity—for books, the writing is worse and it often reads as emotionless, stilted, and unnatural. As an editor, I’ve read AI-created works, and I’m honestly not impressed.
Add to the fact AI can’t do it WITHOUT a human spark — you’ve got to feed it human creativity so it can make something that even seems human. And if the input you give it is finite — if, eventually, AI is an echo chamber, creating only reflections of what humans once inputted to it — where will the innovation come from when there’s no more generative capability in people themselves?
So, I guess the question we have to ask ourselves now is… why the heck would we WANT to take away that essential spark that drives our creativity?
The simple answer is: WE DON’T.
When I was 4, I decided the only thing I wanted to be was a writer. I loved the beauty and power of an imagination that could create whole worlds. But I never understood why writers just stuck to one type of story. The beauty of storytelling to me was always the characters - it didn't matter if it was 20,000 leagues under the sea or set in space, or if there was someone who had a murder to solve or a romance to find.
As soon as I knew what the word "genre" meant, I knew I wouldn't be boxed in by it. So part of my goal with writing 52 books next year is to tackle as many genres as I can reasonably handle.
Now, there aren't 52 genres if you just go by the big ones, such as "literary" and "science fiction," etc. But if you tackle the sub-genres, you can definitely get up to 52. Along with ideas for a few series, here's what I've come up with:
Science Fiction – Soft Sci-Fi
Science Fiction – Space Opera
Science Fantasy (2 books)
Science Fiction – Alternate History (2 books)
Science Fiction – Apocalyptic
Science Fiction – Steampunk
Science Fiction – Androids, Robots & AI
Mystery – Cozy
Mystery – Noir
Mystery – Caper (2-book series)
Romance – Contemporary (3-book series)
Romance – Historical
Romance – Western
Romance – Comedy (3-book series)
Romance – Fantasy (2-book series)
Romance – Thriller
Romance – Paranormal
Fantasy – Epic
Fantasy – Historical
Fantasy – Superhero
Fantasy – Urban
Fantasy – Bangsian/surreal (2 books)
Fantasy – Fairy Tale
Fantasy – Sword & Sorcery
Fantasy – Dragon
Horror – Monster
Horror – Comedy
Horror – Supernatural
Horror – Zombie/Survival
Horror – Psychological
YA/Coming of age (2 books)
Short story collection (2 books)
Any ones I left out? Please let me know in the comments - if you can think of a great genre that would be useful to add to the list, I'd be happy to send you a free copy of the book once it's written next year. Thanks!
Welcome to my website! I'm Alison McBain, the author behind Author Versus AI, where one author (me) will write a book a week for 52 weeks in 2024 to take on AI.
That's right. 52 books. 1 year. Over 2 MILLION words.
And, yes, I need to get my head examined for even proposing this. LOL. But I wanted to show that one author can take on AI and answer the question now being posed by creators everywhere: Will AI replace me?
I'm hoping to show the answer is an emphatic NO.
So... I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is and prove it.
I hope you'll join me in my journey - I'm getting everything set up right now, but I should start posting regular updates as I write my outlines, get publishers and book cover artists lined up, and just really walk through the process of what this will entail. And I'll share every step of the way with you.
Thanks for stopping by!