There is no escaping the disruptive force of artificial intelligence. But AI has gone too far when it aims to replace the irreplaceable: human creativity. How do we reclaim our voice and own our creative process while leveraging AI?
Artificial intelligence is exactly that; artificial. Its version of “intelligence,” however impressive on the surface, cannot replace the uniquely human element of creativity.
Apps like ChatGPT have sparked curiosity and excitement among those less inclined toward writing. After all, the most appealing pieces of technology have historically been the ones that save time and effort. Maybe you’ve experienced it yourself-- that temptation to ask ChatGPT a question, copy-paste the response, and pass it off as your own. (Spoiler alert: there are a lot of problems with that.)
This is the real danger of relying on artificial intelligence to articulate your ideas on your behalf: it atrophies your communication skills. In an increasingly digital world, the written word may be more important than ever. When you relinquish your individual voice, you willingly surrender one of your most distinguishing characteristics. As the world becomes smaller (and every industry more saturated), this is no small sacrifice.
We are deluding ourselves if we believe that AI can (or should) replace creativity. How, then, can we appropriately leverage this growing technology as a tool in our creative process?
Content creation has permeated every industry by sheer necessity. Attention is currency, and it has never been easier to track that attention. In the past several years, most professionals have faced the harsh reality: your job description now includes creating content, and most of that probably involves writing. Surprise!
We’re all immersed in a digital landscape in which everyone is vying for that coveted moment of attention. When every pair of eyeballs counts, your unique voice and perspective defines you. To that end, AI can either make you blend in, or help you stand out.
If you’re interested in the latter, here are a few ways that ChatGPT can actually assist your creative process, rather than replace it:
1. Generating ideas or an outline. When you ask ChatGPT a simple question, its response will typically provide an overview of some key points. This is generally where the “copy-paste” mistake comes into play. Rather than viewing the AI-generated points as a satisfactory substitute for content, dig a little deeper. Explore which of these ideas may work (or not!) for your content. Expand upon the ideas you’ve chosen in your own words, and always conduct independent research. Many AI apps, particularly ChatGPT, have been known to generate outdated or incorrect information.
2. Refining and editing your work. Maybe you have a tendency to ramble when you write, or you don’t know how to make your ideas more clear. ChatGPT is capable of suggesting edits to your writing, which you can then choose to accept or reject. You may ask the app to edit for clarity, or to tweak the style in some way (more scholarly, witty, conversational, etc.). After reviewing the ideas it offers, you retain the creative agency to decide what makes the final cut.
3. Getting specific. ChatGPT is prone to generate bland responses to generic questions. The more narrow and specific you can be with your prompts, the more likely it will spark ideas that are aligned with your industry niche or personal brand. When you have something different to say, you and your content will stand out from the masses. Don’t hesitate to get granular as you explore potential topics and ideas with ChatGPT as part of your creative process.
The best way to use AI when creating content? Sparingly. Never let the lure of “saved time” leech your unique voice from your finished product. Approached with a healthy perspective, AI has the potential to effectively assist your creative process. As you create, remember: the beautiful nuances of the human mind are truly irreplaceable.