A serene and imaginative moment of creativity captured in a room where traditional and futuristic elements blend. A person sits at a dark wood desk, deeply focused on writing with a classic quill pen. Above the desk, a modern, sleek lamp emits bright red light, while a holographic display projects swirling texts and images in blue and yellow. The room's walls are light gray, symbolizing a harmonious blend of the past and the future. This image highlights the human element in writing during the age of generative AI, focusing on the intimate and creative process.

I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment behind this post by James Shelley, discussing writing in the age of generative AI. When I mention that I don’t particularly care about copyright, about people ‘ripping me off’ and and about tools like ChatGPT being able to create lots of words, people tend to dismiss this as me speaking from a privileged position.

And yes, of course I am talking as a white middle-aged male, which I can’t help being. But on the other hand, the history of the world shows that ideas develop not because we carefully attribute them to one particular person, but because they can be built upon by anyone and everyone.

You could copy and paste this article into ChatGPT and say, “Please rewrite and paraphrase this blog post in such a way as to keep its main points and observations, but substantively reconfigure the text to make the original version undetectable.” And then, just like that, you have content for your own blog. So easy.


It is interesting to speculate about the future. It seems like people might eventually grow skeptical about investing their personal creativity in such a space, right? Will anyone bother writing on the internet when they know their words will be pilfered and junkified? What happens to the craft of writing itself when our de facto global platform for sharing text no longer reinforces or recognizes the role or rights of authorship?


Whether papyrus or the internet, humans doggedly write for influence, status, wealth, conviction, and pleasure. But the so-called sanctity of “authorship” is only a very recent idea. These “rights” of authorship are only true if they are enforced. They are a kind of fiction that only make sense in occasional times, places, and cultures. For the next chapter of the human experiment, I wonder if “authorship” will again recede into the background, as it often seems to do in times of disruptive changes in communication technology.


So, what’s the fun of writing on the internet anymore? Well, if your aim is to be respected as an author, there’s probably not much fun to be had here at all. Don’t write online for fame and glory. Oblivion, obscurity and exploitation are all but guaranteed. Write here because ideas matter, not authorship. Write here because the more robots, pirates, and single-minded trolls swallow up cyberspace, the more we need independent writing in order to think new thoughts in the future — even if your words are getting dished up and plated by an algorithm.

Source: James Shelley