AI Won’t Replace Me as a Writer. Here’s Why.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve read about ChatGPT this week, the new conversational tool from OpenAI. The references have spanned from an article in The Atlantic entitled The End of High-School English to questions from worried freelancers, wondering how they’ll offer counterpoints to clients who think that ChatGPT is a viable alternative to human writers.
I even got the question from a concerned aunt and my husband: Do AI writing tools put writers out of a job?
I’m a freelance fintech writer and journalist. I spent 15 years as a product manager at a banking software company before pivoting to content. I also write on Medium about productivity and automation, and on Substack about remote work.
And I can say unequivocally: I’m not worried. The work I produce cannot be replicated by a machine.
But the landscape of writing will change, dramatically and permanently.
The difference between quality input and quality output
My husband is a software engineer. He’s been dealing with AI and machine learning for years and is somewhat fascinated by the fact that our worlds are “colliding” — something I wouldn’t have expected as a creative.
But as he and I engaged in a lively discussion about the impact on our livelihoods, I pointed out a crucial difference in our use of AI: input versus output.
His contribution to a coding project is the input. He has to know how to solve complex problems and build solutions. The output is rather boring: lines of code that render the solution. He uses AI sometimes to facilitate (speed up) the output, but the input is what sets him apart from other (less talented) software engineers. To someone using the software, it doesn’t really matter which way it was coded if it achieves the same result. His value comes from solving problems faster, or his ability to solve more complex problems.