I use AI.
Hey, it’s here to stay and so am I.
You can’t kill me.
How I use it though just all depends.
Why An AI Statement?
My deep, seemingly endless curiosity has me writing about the tools I’m playing with. I also listen to and read a lot about the implications of this newer artificial intelligence—especially from the smart folks at MIT. As I’m following their discussions and debates, I’m also tracking with their ethics, regulations, and governance concerns.
I was overjoyed to see politicians start now (vs. way later a la social media) and companies place guardrails around employee use. Advertising groups putting stakes in the ground about labeling content AI- or human-made was a nice bonus in my world that week.
So I got to thinking “Man. I should have my own.” There are larger articles to be written around ethics (especially the scraping) but for my purposes now, here’s my AI statement for anyone who may hire me as a writer or content designer:
How I use AI, why, and what you pay for when you hire me.
I’ve had writer’s block about 3 times in my life, so I don’t worry about that. But I have been massively sick with a deadline looming and I asked the agency I was working for if using AI to help generate ideas was okay. My thinking was I could use the energy savings to really focus on the writing. Happily, the company said, “Yes! We use it too. It's just another tool.” Cool.
I’ll never give the prompt, “Write in the style of [Famous Person]” because I don’t know of a single person who gave permission for that. Even if using licensed pieces, the legalese they signed said nothing about training machines to replicate their work. But that’s another article.
So I’m going to ask you first if you’re comfortable with me generating ideas with AI help if I have to.
Email / Slack / Teams / Text / Etc.:
For me, it takes longer to write a prompt and copy/paste it. But I’ve been writing my entire life and professionally for 25+ years, so it's not something I struggle with.
So! I (me, the human) respond to all messages.
Well-versed on AI shenanigans:
In April, I worked for the Air Force. Having followed AI news so closely, I knew not to put anything sensitive in Chat GPT. So you can trust I know a thing or twelve about AI.
WolfieBear! is a terrible co-worker:
I mostly work by myself. My cat doesn’t help at all, so occasionally I’ll ask Chat GPT to help me noodle on an outline or whatever.
“Train it to your style,” they say.
As a copywriter, I’m not supposed to have a style. So I don’t.
I have range. I move from funny to reverent in one project to the next. Write for Reddit audiences, write for cancer patients—all in the same day.
This style you’re reading now is for stuff like my blogs, my posts, my SubStack. Key word: My. This is my voice. And I want to keep that work for my brain because thinking about the idea, structure, writing, and editing is what brings me joy.
So no, I won’t be training anything.*
*Peeks behind the curtain. Oh right. Google just said everything on the web is fair game for scraping.
I’m not an AI expert. But I listen to people who are.
My understanding of this space is evolving. Thus, so is my opinion and how I choose to interact with these tools.
I don’t follow emoji-vomit posts about how stupid people are for not using AI tools. Um, who’s the dummy for ignoring (or not knowing anything about) basic accessibility Mr. Emoji Overload?
Nor do I cower to scare tactic headlines like “IF YOU’RE NOT USING AI MAGIC TO SAVE 15% OF YOUR WORKFLOW TIME, YOU’RE A SCARED, DUMB HACK!!!” Deep sigh. Just stop already people.
Like everyone, I am not perfect. And (not “but”) I’m treating this historical moment in time with the reverence it deserves.
It’s humanity’s next internet. There’s a lot at stake and I want to be on the right side of history.
Queue a human-generated joke about AI to end on levity.
*6/31/23: This will absolutely be updated as our world (and my understanding) around this stuff changes.