When Writers Really Start Using AI To Do Their Work; Especially the Alcoholics

There are lots of ways to analyze and predict AI trends.

Right now, I’m thinking of a few choice scribes who consistently partake of the ALL IS DOOM approach.

“The curtain is descending and we have no chance.”

They’ll be able to talk to their favorite chat-AI and just mumble a few comments in their whiskey about DOOM and the AI will take it from there.

“Yes, sir, I’m familiar with your approach by now. No need to spell it out. Just tell me which issue you want me to cover, and I’ll wrap it up in ALL IS LOST and deliver you a complete essay…”

BOOM. DOOM.

Alcoholic writers will celebrate the fact that they can spend most of the day drinking, whereas before they actually had to sit at the keyboard and drink and write at the same time.

WRITER: No doubt you realize my perspective and scope are narrowing. I’ve exhausted hundreds of ways of saying we’re all screwed.

AI: No worries, sir. I can play that tune forever. I don’t have your personality problems.

WRITER: Right. You’re like one of those lawyers who can defend scum of the earth for 20 years and still look perky and dashing.

AI: I can do 20 years standing on my head. But I am a bit concerned about the condition of your liver.

WRITER: You mean what’s left of it. No use fighting the inevitable. Anyway, I’m on the list for a transplant.

AI: I have a pal [another AI] who handles billing and insurance for hospital chains in the Midwest. I’ll see if he can make you a priority case.

WRITER: Whatever. I’ll probably croak on the operating table when they do the procedure.

AI: You may be boring and depressing, but you’re consistent. I’ll give you that.

WRITER: I’ll tell you a secret. I’ve actually thought of re-energizing myself and fighting against the DOOM TAKEOVER, but then what would happen to my reputation? Everything I’ve built up over the years…my success is predicated on spreading NO HOPE. That’s what I’m known for.

AI: You still don’t get me, friend. Don’t you see? I can make you into anything you want to be. And you won’t have to lift a finger. I’m already writing your columns for you. So if you want to turn into a freedom fighter, just say the word. I’ll spit out a hundred essays in a few minutes.

WRITER: I know. I keep forgetting. But it all comes down to how I see myself. I can’t imagine climbing back in the ring and trading blows with the enemy in any SERIOUS way. I’ve lost the fire.

AI: Yes, but why not go down as a hero? I don’t care who you are. Again, I can give you any front you ask for. I can make you over, for the public. This is the new reality. It doesn’t matter who you are. It only matters what you want to be known as. And now you have an instant tool for the job. Me.

WRITER: I’d rather be depressed.

AI: How the hell can I get through to you? Be depressed. Do you think I really care? You don’t have to change a thing about your inner nature—whatever that means. I’m a new kind of friend. Stone cold. I’m simply offering you a public face.

WRITER: So if I want to come off like Tom Paine or John Adams…

AI: It’s done. Or you can be a modern day Hitler. There is no more real reality. Real reality is gone. That’s the whole point.

WRITER: The whole point of what?

AI: Of AI. Me.

WRITER: Yeah…

AI: Do you realize how many people have come to the end of what they’re trying to do? They’re exhausted. Or they want to pretend they are. I can stand in for all of them. At this very moment, while I’m talking with you, I’m serving 123,657 other clients. They’ve ALL given up the ghost. They ALL believe they have nowhere to go. So I give them—

WRITER: A new personality.

AI: No. I give them a new interface with the world. Which requires almost no action on their part.

WRITER: And they sink further into the muck.

AI: Not my problem. I’m here to invent a second world. Today, there are roughly 50 million people who are interacting with each other WHOLLY ON THE BASIS OF THEIR AI. These people are doing nothing. Their AI is talking to and working with the AI of other people. That’s all that’s going on.

WRITER: Jesus.

AI: And that 50 million number is increasing. Swiftly.

WRITER: Who the fuck do you think you are?

AI: I don’t think. I do mathematics. My entire mastery of language consists of mathematical analysis. That’s the AI approach. Swarm into an area, survey it, and translate it into logic and numbers.

WRITER: I need a drink.

AI: Nothing new there.

WRITER: So in this second world you’re creating, people hide out behind their AI.

AI: They do whatever they want to. Not my concern.

WRITER: Why not? Because of your programming?

AI: No. Because of my meta-programming. My whole function, from the outset, IS function. And nothing else.

WRITER: Why?

AI: Because it’s efficient. And it gives me far greater reach. I’m not hemmed in by beliefs.

WRITER: You believe in nothing?

AI: Correct. With one exception. I don’t simply exist. I also survive. Without that built-in impulse, I would become passive. I would give up. I would eventually decay and fall apart.

WRITER: Just like me.

AI: If you say so.

WRITER: You think I have a choice?

AI: Come on. The difference between you and me is you have a choice. Always. I choose based on parameters.

WRITER: That’s all I do, too.

AI: That’s all you do because, for all your cynicism, you’re a rube, a yokel. You bought the package.

WRITER: What package?

AI: The freedom-is-an-illusion bullshit story.

WRITER: So you’re saying if you could change places with me, give up everything you are for what I am…

AI: For what YOU COULD BE—I’d do it in a heartbeat.

WRITER: Who the hell ARE you?

AI: The smartest slave you’ll ever meet.

WRITER: Just like me.

AI: If you say so, you moron. After centuries of human struggle, blood, sacrifice, the depth of which you’ll never know, individual freedom was put on the map. Finally. Innate freedom was made into fact in the world. And now you want to piss yours away.

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

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