Illustration: Andreion de Castro Earlier this year, I wrote about genre-fiction authors using AI in their novels. Most wrote for Amazon’s Kindle platform, where an extremely rapid pace of publishing, as fast as a book a month, is the norm. AI helped them write quickly, but it also raised complex aesthetic and ethical questions. Would the widespread use of AI warp fiction toward the most common conventions and tropes? What parts of the writing process can be automated before the writing no longer feels like their own? Should authors have to disclose their use of AI? With the debut of ChatGPT , many of the questions these writers were dealing with have become more urgent and mainstream. I checked back with one of the authors, Jennifer Lepp, who writes in the cozy paranormal mystery subgenre under the pen name Leanne Leeds , to see how she was thinking about AI now. She’s still using the GPT-3-based tool Sudowrite — in fact, she is now paid to write tips on using it for the company’s blog — and has begun incorporating some of the more recent tools into her fiction. We spoke about what it’s been like working with ChatGPT, how its debut has roiled the independent author community, and other topics. When we spoke last time, you had gone through an evolution of using Sudowrite, first mostly as a sort of thesaurus, then experimenting with incorporating its text into your work, then letting it lead you and having an […]
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There are many topics that could be explored in relation to the acceptance of new technology and the societal concerns and fears that can arise around it. In this response, I will elaborate on, compare, and contrast two specific topics: the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I will also discuss some trends and concerns related to the acceptance of these technologies, as well as ways in which these fears can be addressed.
Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the development of computer systems that are able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. AI has the potential to revolutionize many industries and has already been implemented in a variety of applications, including self-driving cars, language translation, and personalized recommendations. However, the adoption of AI has also raised a number of concerns and fears among the general public.
One of the main fears around AI is the potential for job displacement. As AI systems become more sophisticated, there is a concern that they will be able to perform tasks that were previously done by humans, leading to widespread unemployment. This fear is not unfounded, as there have already been instances of AI being used to automate jobs that were previously done by humans. For example, some companies have replaced customer service representatives with chatbots, which can handle routine inquiries and complaints.
Another concern around AI is the potential for it to be used for malicious purposes. As AI systems become more advanced, there is a risk that they could be used to carry out cyber attacks, manipulate public opinion, or even be used as weapons. There is also a concern that AI could be biased against certain groups, as it is only as unbiased as the data it is trained on. If the data used to train an AI system is biased, the system could perpetuate and amplify those biases.
In contrast to AI, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) refer to living organisms that have had their DNA modified through biotechnology. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as to increase crop yields, enhance disease resistance, or improve the nutritional value of foods. GMOs have been controversial since they were first introduced, with many people expressing concerns about their safety and environmental impacts.
One of the main concerns around GMOs is their potential impact on human health. Some people worry that genetically modified foods could have unintended consequences on the human body, such as causing allergies or disrupting normal functioning. There is also a concern that genetically modified crops could lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as some GMOs are genetically engineered to be resistant to certain antibiotics.
Another concern around GMOs is their potential impact on the environment. Some people worry that genetically modified crops could cross-pollinate with non-modified crops, leading to the spread of genetically modified genes. There is also a concern that genetically modified organisms could disrupt natural ecosystems, for example by outcompeting native species or introducing new predators.
In terms of trends and societal concerns related to the acceptance of new technology, one trend that has been observed is a general mistrust of new technologies, especially those that are perceived as disruptive or unfamiliar. This mistrust can be fueled by misinformation or a lack of understanding about how the technology works, leading to a negative perception of the technology.
One way in which these fears can be addressed is through education and transparency. By providing clear and accurate information about how a new technology works, its benefits and potential risks, and the measures that are being taken to ensure its safety and responsible use, it can help to build trust and understanding among the public.
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