The future of the international writing landscape is uncertain, and student writers are feeling the pressure, according to a University of Wollongong Creative Writing student.
Third year student Mason Horsley said the pressure stems from the rapid advancement of AI such as ChatGPT, and it already being able to create passable writing.
“We made it this far, studying Creative Writing in university and just a year or a few months before we go out into the world and try to accomplish that goal, we have to compete with something that works for free, and can adopt the style of other writers,” he said.
“I think there will be a future where AI-written and AI-assisted works will be more favoured.”
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) began striking in part because of concerns about AI being used to replace writers, specifically requesting that AI not be allowed to write literary material, be used as source material or be trained by their work.
UOW Creative Writing Senior Lecturer Dr Joshua Lobb said he believes the future of creative writing is going to be changed by AI’s emergence, with series and filmmakers especially, attempting to minimise writer’s roles.
“I think people will try. I think they’ll potentially use it to generate plot scenarios, or to create believable dialogue, but I don’t think it’ll ever fully replace writers. If it does, I don’t think it’ll be as exciting as writing could be,” Dr Lobb said.
“If you think about an episode of Star Trek, it’s exactly the same every time, so a computer could do that work, which just goes, this happens first, and this happens second, etc.
“What that will mean is nothing will ever change. The reason we move forward with writing, the reason suddenly everybody is really into a new form of film or TV is because somebody’s gone in and done something different with it, they haven’t just followed convention.”
However, he also claimed writers will always be essential to writing.
“Stranger Things did this amazing thing bringing several genres together, and suddenly everyone was like we need to tell these types of stories and now there’s a bunch of knock-off Stranger Things shows,” he said.
“A computer couldn’t create that, but it could create a copy of that.
“I think we’ll still need humans to do that next thing, to bring writing forward.”