Can AI write as well as humans?
Many people are concerned about the use of Artificial Intelligence in writing, but so far AI has only been used to aid humans. The question is whether or not AI can write as well as humans. And if it does, what does that mean for the future of writing?
We will explore this question in a subsequent post.
What actually constitutes “good writing”?
The definition of “good writing” is a bit problematic. Some people might call someone’s work “good” because it expresses what they want to say, because the person has good ideas and is an interesting enough writer to sustain the reader, or simply because they like it.
The best way I can think of to answer this question is by saying that there are no objective measures for how well someone writes;
Good writing may be subjective but poor writing isn’t: bad writers misspell words (typos), copy and paste from other texts without citation (plagiarism), make arguments that are untrue, jump to conclusions that aren’t supported by the evidence (fallacies), or insert emotional appeals into their work without warranting them.
All of these problems are well within the scope of AI functions, and AI has already been used in order to help people avoid committing these sorts of errors. Many companies provide editing services or special programs designed for helping writers look for typos online; there is no shortage of “spellcheckers” on the internet either.
Some college students use plagiarism checkers so they won’t accidentally copy essays from other sources without giving credit. Even fallacies have an algorithm associated with them: if you search through enough published philosophical texts, you’ll probably find one where someone commits every fallacy in the book.
All of these measures show that AI has the potential to write as well as humans, and it’s already being used to help us be better writers.
How is Artificial Intelligence defined for this context and how does it work in practice?
AI is learning to write in the same way it learns other tasks.
With millions of pieces of collected data, AI has picked up on patterns that mimic human language while not depending on human input to produce value for a specific task.
AI isn’t just about producing text; it means embedding artificial intelligence into machines and devices so these devices can take on some tasks better than humans could do them, even when there’s no obvious connection between the function and the intelligence required for the task. For example, because AI needs very few inputs to create an output with statistical validity (significance), AI can be used to calculate things that are too difficult for humans, like how likely a terrorist attack is going to happen in a certain city on a specific day.
Nowadays, AI writing applications can write almost on par with humans, but they require large amounts of data to do so. The more data that’s fed into these systems, the better they get at understanding how language works and producing sensible text.
In the future, AI writing applications will only become more sophisticated as they are able to learn from a wider variety of data. There won’t be any need for humans to “teach” AI how to write; it will be able to learn on its own by reading texts from all corners of the internet.
Some people might still be skeptical about whether or not AI can write as well as humans. This skepticism is understandable, but it’s also important to remember that AI has been used in many different fields with great success.
There’s no doubt that AI writing will continue to improve, and that it will soon be able to write every bit as well as humans.
Can humans easily tell whether or not what they’re reading was written by an AI?
For most cases, no. But if you read enough text generated by a particular application, it becomes familiar. Also, some applications have less training than others so their output might sound mechanical at first glance.
One thing that’s clear is that there are definitely things that people cannot do as well as AI can. For example, AI can write very fast and produce a large number of papers in just a few minutes. Humans would probably take hours or days to do the same thing, but that doesn’t mean that humans are unable to analyze their own work after it has been written: people might edit and revise without having written so much at once.
The future of AI as a writer, and what the implications are for the world at large
It isn’t clear what the future of AI writers will look like. Despite the fact that we’re seeing artificial intelligence do most of the writing, there’s still a lot of room for humans to do things that can’t be done by AI.
AI writing assistants can’t yet write on their own. There’s a considerable amount of human input that’s still needed to guide the program.
Personally, I think it would be great if more people were able to write as well as AI does, but on the other hand, it might not be so great either because human interaction might be lost if more people spend so much time on devices.
So far, AI has only been used to aid humans in writing. However, there is no reason why AI cannot eventually write as good as humans. The main challenge for AI in this domain is understanding human emotions and intentions, which so far it has not been able to do. Once AI can understand these aspects of communication, it will be able to write as well as any human.
The entirety of this article was written using AI in about 15 minutes!