Some people are amazed by the abilities of ChatGPT. Last week Michelle asked it to write an article about why it’s important for trucking companies to focus on cybersecurity, and it did a pretty good job of covering the topic.
I (Dan) decided to ask it to write a review of my book Powers and Principalities. That didn’t go so well. ChatGPT seems to think my protagonist was named “David Hazard” (it was actually Clay Bender) and that the book was about a demonic threat to the president of the United States. (Not even close.) I’m sure it’s possible my books aren’t famous enough for ChatGPT to know about, but if that’s the case it should have said, “I don’t know anything about this book” rather than making something up.
So we find AI-generated content to be very much a mixed bag around here. But we also recognize it’s getting more sophisticated all the time, and we do think content-writing companies like ours have reason to be concerned that certain clients will, at some point down the road, find it cheaper and easier to let the AI bots do the writing for them.
If that’s the case, how can professional writers save their livelihoods?
We think the key is wisdom. It’s the one thing no machine can ever offer you.
AI can learn to scour the Internet for information in record speed, organize it, catalog it, calculate the meaning of a question or a command and spit out that information in response with remarkable speed and clarity.
But it can’t make moral calculations. It can’t know right from wrong. And it can’t care. It can’t empathize. It can only spit out what it’s programmed to spit out, however sophisticated that may be.
Much of what we help clients write is the sharing of wisdom – lessons learned from personal and professional experiences that can help others gain an understanding. Sure, AI can spit out statistics, but the AI doesn’t really know what the statistics mean. The best it can do is aggregate what others have said about them. (And as we saw above, be warned, when it doesn’t know it will make things up.)
The most value-added writing is that which brings forth the wisdom of the writer, or if you’re writing on someone else’s behalf, the wisdom of the client. AI will never be able to offer that wisdom.
Now let’s get our definitions straight. Wisdom isn’t the same as knowledge. You can be in possession of many facts, and you can be able to identify the meaning of those facts. That’s knowledge. It’s not wisdom. Wisdom not only understands the facts, it understands what should and should not be done with the facts, and why. It makes moral calculations and understands the impact on people when facts are deployed in various ways.
And wisdom connects you to God, because as we know from James 1:5-6, wisdom comes from God. God does not pour wisdom into machines – not that He couldn’t, since God can do whatever He wants, but He created us to be the conduits of His wisdom. Not them.
If you’re a professional writer and you don’t want AI to eliminate your job, start thinking of your output in terms of wisdom. It’s the one thing you can offer that no machine ever can. And if you lack wisdom, then read James 1:5-6 again . . . and ask God. It’s the only way to get it, and He isn’t interested in giving it to a machine.