Friday, May 26, 2023

Friday Writings #78: Artificial Intelligence


Dear Wordsmiths, let’s get serious!

The internet, as we know, is a mixed blessing – as are its child, social media and its parent, digital technology. Renowned thinker Naomi Klein recently published an alarming look at the latest development, AI, which it seems has the capacity to make everything much, much worse whilst being claimed to make everything much, much better.

Read this, please!
Stop and do it now. (Yes it’s longish, but important.)

Did that leave you reeling about the ramifications for artists, amongst the general horror? It certainly is disconcerting and almost (almost!) makes me glad to be getting old and closer to death.


Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash.


And what can we little people do about it anyway, in the face of such huge, powerful forces? How can we word artists protect our creative expressions in an environment where wholesale theft seems to happen with impunity?

There are a number of possible answers to that, some of which are suggested in the article I’ve asked you to read. Another thing that occurs to me is that this may be, even more than ever, the age of the blogging author.

Yes, our words may get stolen and served up in distorted form, or even exactly as written, via AI, and credited to others – but here they are on our blogs, all the same, and the posts are dated. Furthermore, our readers (including each other) won’t give a damn about how and where else they may appear, because this is where they are used to finding and reading us.

I think it’s important to keep producing our original content even if it may then be taken and misused. I think it will become even more precious if it becomes comparatively rare. 

I don’t know what will happen to the production and consumption of books if AI forges ahead as feared. Some of us, me included, like to get our writing out there that way too, as well as to read books by others. I expect we’ll still be able to do that for a while. But if not, if things really go downhill very fast, if people stop buying books, or can’t trust what they are buying, still our little blogs will attract those who enjoy them already as well as those who’ll want to read for free in the projected age of more and more exorbitant prices. 

It’s all speculative of course at this stage. It just seems to me very important that we keep right on doing what we’re doing. And if we only reach a few among the millions? I remember, when I started making poems and wanting to communicate them, thinking that if even one person was reached, and moved, by one poem of mine, it would all be worthwhile. I bet you all had similar thoughts once upon a time. We’re doing a lot better than that, as it happens. So – onward and upward, my friends!

After that rant, of course your optional prompt this week is to write something – anything – on the subject of AI.

As always, we ask for one post per person, maximum word number (excluding title) 369, and you may give us poetry or prose, new or old, responding to the prompt or not.

Have fun!

Next week, Magaly will ask us to write poetry or prose inspired by an unfinished project.



Hopefully, the performing arts are still safe. I can't see AI managing to produce anything to rival this! Farewell to one of the great keepers-on-going, in more reflective mood than we might remember, yet powerful as ever.


  1. I would like to ask you for a favour…..Could you write a poem with A1 in I Shakespearean language and form….maybe a sonnet …eg Shall I compare thee to the fragrance of a pink cherry blossom and it must contain a splash of humour…..I am technically challenged so I wont be able to work out how to use A1..The reason I am asking you to do it is because I am curious to know if the poem will be above average…I don’t really care if it is produced by a human or not…I would like to know if A1 can produce something brilliant….I want to know I am correct in thinking that it is not possible.

    I asked Fandango to do this for me. He kindly did. I am going to submit two poems and I would like you to decide if one or both is written by a machine

    1. How very intriguing! I have seen one really bad poem written by A1 and one quite decent one, so perhaps it depends what is fed in (but I don't know what was in either case). It will be interesting to look at yours.

    2. They were both were written by machines. Same request but results from two different machines. One was google. I think.

    3. Rall....above

  2. Well over a decade ago when I started blogging, I wrote lengthier articles with fewer pictures. One day I stumbled onto other "blogs" mimicking mine. I had fallen victim to illegal "data scrapping" using my exact words without my byline at sites advertising products without my knowledge or permission. Finding help was a frustrating long journey. Scrapping the works of others in its hunger for data is one way AI learns and expands its reach so setting perimeters, respecting copyrights is key to the future.

    1. What a horrible experience for you! I wonder how many of us have had this happen only never found out. Yes, as we have already seen in other respects, the internet is yet another domain which must ultimately be protected (as far as possible) by law.

  3. Thank you so much for posting the video of Tina! I did not know that particular song and was entranced with "another kind of Tina." A co-worker and I went to a Tina concert in a small venue in Minneapolis back in the day. Entrancing. We also had the thrill of a Prince concert in the same small venue. Back in the 80s, life was fun.

    1. It was! (Even though I never had the pleasure of a Prince or Tina concert.)

  4. Good day, Poets & Storytellers!
    Yes, what an interesting article. In the end, what decides the future of mankind is still the bottom line. Will the future be a dystopia, deeply divided by the very rich and powerful, and the very poor, only time can tell.
    Today, I am posting some thoughts on whether AI can replace a human poet. :)

  5. Rosemary, I read your "read this this" article and won't dispute anything it predicted. We are headed towards a big mess. I like what you are saying here too. AI is proofing thint s comment right now. Some of it's "corrections" are al.ost hilarious. I hadn't picked up the word combination "algorithmic junk:
    "algorithmic junk" before, Tank you

    1. I wrote my comment in the dark, google was practicing its ai on me terribly. That's why I "terminated" so abruptly. My word "terminated so abruptly,
      I am so glad you got us into ai discussion. From this time on I won't capitalize "ai".
      Thank you so very much.

    2. "ai" (愛) happens to be the Chinese/Japanese word for 'love'. :)

    3. What??? Blogger is making me anonymous. This is Rosemary, smiling at your comment about 'ai'.


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