Ten years ago – or thereabouts – indie authors started self-publishing as digital tools, like the Kindle, made it all possible.

We’ve seen audiobooks grow rapidly in the last year or two, but we are yet to see the next true market disruption. It’s not audiobooks!

Instead, it's much more likely that in the coming decade, AI, or Artificial Intelligence, will revolutionize the publishing industry.

In episode 108 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast, Autumn and Jesper unpacks the topic of AI and writing for you.


Links from the episode

Book on AI by Joanna Penn: https://amzn.to/3nkpGWZ

Article mentioned in the podcast episode: https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/16/21371049/gpt3-hacker-news-ai-blog


Tune in for new episodes EVERY single Monday. 

Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. 

Join us at www.patreon.com/AmWritingFantasy. For as little as a dollar a month, you’ll get awesome rewards and keep the Am Writing Fantasy podcast going.

Read the full transcript below.

(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).

Narrator (2s):
You're listening to the Am Writing fantasy podcast. In today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now on to the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.

Jesper (30s):
Hello, I am Jesper, and I'm Autumn. This is episode 108 of the am writing fantasy podcast. And I think today's topic is very well timed. You know, we're fresh into 2021 and are all looking ahead to the coming year and hopefully a year where we can put the worldwide pandemic behind us to start thinking about the future a bit. But, but yeah, if we look 10 years back, you know, 10 years ago, or thereabouts, at least in the author status, self publishing as digital tools like devices, like the Kindle made it possible.

Jesper (1m 11s):
And we have also over the last year or two, seen a very big growth in audio books, but I'm going to say that we are yet to see the next true market disruption because it's not audio books. Instead. I believe that in the coming decade, AI or artificial intelligence will revolutionize the publishing industry. So in today's episode, we're going to unpack this for you and see where it all leads us.

Autumn (1m 40s):
It's so exciting. I mean, this is almost like a Sci-fi episode, but it has to do with fantasy. It's definitely it has to do with a marketing and the writing and so on and so on in a different environment and in a different future. Yes, it will be. It's definitely something we are going to have to deal with if you pay any attention to some of the news out there on AI, but we'll get to that first. This is really our first we're recording behind or ahead. However you want to say it. So for us, it's just, just the new year and you're back off of your holiday vacations, or how are things on your side of the planet?

Jesper (2m 23s):
Yeah, it was just, just off today, actually. I'm back from vacation. I must admit it was a bit difficult to get out of bed very early when the alarm clock went off. I bet it's just getting used to sleeping in. So that was, yeah, that was what it was, but it was one of those vacations that didn't really feel like a vacation, you know, as we've talked about in previous episodes, we've been moving out of our house and all of that. So we are pretty much settled now in our new place, but I feel like I need a note, a new vacation now. I bet you too.

Autumn (3m 1s):
We've had a very much a different type of work on your vacation where you had to resettle entire a house. So yeah, that's a little more challenging than, you know, hanging up Christmas decorations.

Jesper (3m 13s):
Yeah, that's true. It was very limited with Christmas decorations because we just didn't have time to, but they did not look very Christmas. Like you

Autumn (3m 25s):
Should have drawn pictures on them.

Jesper (3m 27s):
Yeah, yeah, probably. Yeah, that might've been better, but actually in between unpacking all those boxes, I did find the time here and there to watch a bit of Netflix. And I actually just yesterday I finished watching that a new Netflix series called alien worlds. And I know you saw that one as well, or I did.

Autumn (3m 45s):
That was pretty interesting.

Jesper (3m 47s):
What did you think of it?

Autumn (3m 49s):
I thought it was entertaining more than scientific cause coming from an ecologist point of view, everything they talked about on earth, I'd already known and how they applied it to the alien worlds were at times driving me a little crazy because they are overlooking some major things. They'll, especially in the last episode, my husband and I were both going, shouldn't there be like ruins how the simulation get there and what kind of life is to just be a brain and this little gel case, we were just like, wow, but the rest of them were okay, what did you think of it?

Jesper (4m 23s):
I think it was pretty good inspiration for world building. You know, I agree that it, it, it might be a bit simplified and there was some major questions that they sort of just glanced over. I was also really curious about, so that alien civilization in the, in the last episode, they explained how it was like a hive mind and how they live forever. And I was really curious about, okay, so what does that mean? And how does that work? So I immediately wanted to start world-building that understand how does that work? But it's, it's quite a short show around, I think four episodes of him, approximately 50 minutes, something like that each. So it doesn't take long to Watson.

Jesper (5m 3s):
I thought it was quite entertaining and yeah, it might be a bit simplified, but not the other hand, I sort of also liked how they used earth as a starting point because yeah, but also because it made it a bit educational at the same time as well for, you know, details about earth that you might not be aware of, which I thought that was pretty nice actually. So yeah,

Autumn (5m 27s):
Maybe a good segue. I mean, I do, I love it when they bring up topics like water as weird as one of my favorite science topics. So it is fun to get to watch that again. So it was, it was totally worth it. I highly recommend for people to go and watch it.

Jesper (5m 45s):
Yeah. So how about you? How was you? Well, I don't even think I could call it vacation for you.

Autumn (5m 52s):
I worked every single day and Oh yes. So I've been good. I, my biggest complaint is my goal was to finish writing this trilogy. I've been working on, on January 1st. I wanted it done for the new year, so I'd be working on edits right now. And I still have four chapters. My climax it's, you've done a lot, the last book in a series it's so complicated and all these will, the way I write things and all these plot lines and things happening. And even though I have it plotted out, I ended up writing the chapters two or three times each two of them. They just would not click together. And if I couldn't get them right, I couldn't set up the events for the following.

Autumn (6m 35s):
You know, I'm down to the last four chapters. I mean, I'm so close. I can't complain. I mean, it is for one for recording this we're only a few days into January, so I'm just very close and I should finish it by the end of the week, but I want it to be done. But besides that, you know, I got the I'm writing fantasy website back online. I finished up a lot of email by gradations stuff. I did all this things, but I'm looking forward to my own vacation, which to me is possibly taking a week off of maybe some am writing, fantasy stuff. And just maybe sitting down with Photoshop, something. I actually have three covers now that I finished almost finished writing. I have to do three covers and I have not even started on though.

Autumn (7m 17s):
So I've got to get my artistic hat graphic designer hat back on and get going, not to mention a fantasy map. Hey, I know in a logo and a few other things in the back burner too.

Narrator (7m 34s):
A week on the internet with the Am Writing Fantasy podcast.

Jesper (7m 39s):
This welcome message is a bit overdue because well, because of the prerecorded, we prerecorded some of the podcast episodes to last us through the Christmas holidays. And then we also have the interview with Brian Cohen, which went out a few weeks back. So well, we just haven't had a chance to welcome Joel, April until now. Yes. I hope I pronounced that last time correctly. Welcome. Anyway, we did our best. Thank you so much to you all for joining us on Patreon. We really appreciate that. Definitely. Yeah. And it's actually, so that we are only a couple of $5 signups away from reaching the first goal on patron and this first goal triggers at dedicated Patreon Q&A session.

Autumn (8m 30s):

Jesper (8m 31s):
So if you dear listener, haven't checked out Patreon yet. Please find the link in the show notes and we offer all kinds of additional rewards to our patron supporters. So just have a look and see what you, what you think.

Autumn (8m 45s):
Yeah. We'd love to have you over there. I mean, there's every Monday, every week we're doing episodes as well as early releases of the podcast answering questions. So it's quite a little community over there and we'd love to have you join us.

Jesper (9m 1s):
Absolutely. And actually speaking of the internet, Autumn, I have something completely different. I wanted to mention.

Autumn (9m 7s):
Oh, okay. Well, would that be you like springing surprises on me? I've noticed this recently.

Jesper (9m 17s):
It's just so much more fun when I get your reaction live on the podcast rather than...

Autumn (9m 23s):
I'm being tortured, people.

Jesper (9m 28s):
No, I found some really funny. How do you say that analogies? Is that how you say it? Yeah. Yeah. That's somebody, somebody called melody posted them on Facebook. I don't know melody, but they were just so funny that I thought I would mention the three best ones because they were so funny and I hope these are just made up stuff. So I don't accidentally insult somebody because I have no idea what they are, where they came from. It was just so fun.

Autumn (9m 58s):
Oh no.

Jesper (10m 1s):
So, okay. So here it goes three very funny analogies. The first one John and Mary had never met, they were like two hummingbirds who had also never met

Autumn (10m 20s):
May, might need a little bit of work I have with today's episode. I have a suggestion for that one. Okay. What's number two. Okay.

Jesper (10m 31s):
Number two. I just have to stop laughing. "From the attic came an earthly howl, the whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality. Like when you're on vacation in another city and jeopardy comes on at 7:00 PM Instead of 7:30. It's just like, it makes no sense at all.

Autumn (10m 55s):
If that's your level of life, tension disruption, you come spend a week with me. Let's train you in two true emergency situations. Oh my goodness.

Jesper (11m 10s):
Oh, these are so good. It's incredible. It made me laugh so bad this morning. So I just had to put one is not any better than that. No, he was as lame as a duck, not the metaphorical lame duck, but a real lame duck. That was actually... I'm speechless. You have any editing comments.

Autumn (11m 42s):
Lame is reuse too many times. We need the let's get out the thesauras and it's a cliched phrase and you should avoid those in your writing. Otherwise I will hold my tongue. All right. Fair enough. And onto today's topic. So yeah. Talking about surprises, autumn, I actually received a message from a very old friend this morning and I promised him to play the audio file of his message. So are you ready for this? You're just full of surprises today. Yes, let's go for it.

Autumn (12m 24s):
Okay. Here it goes.

Old Mc'Grumpy (12m 26s):
I don't appreciate how you worthless humans are discussing artificial intelligence without me. I was the resident artificial intelligence on the Am Writing Fantasy YouTube channel until you two decided to dump me. One should think that I am the foremost expert on this topic. And please tell Autumn that I am the future. You cannot ignore me any longer.

Autumn (12m 54s):
This, that little rascal, sorry.

Jesper (12m 58s):
Just to fill in the reader or the listener here. If you're feeling a bit left out for those who actually watched the, our YouTube channel, going back, use a little AI here was a one that we have as a bit of a, what you would call him. A co-host almost every very old YouTube videos. So I just brought him back here. And so if you feel left out listeners, it's just because yeah, you don't know what happened.

Autumn (13m 26s):
If you go back to some of the original podcasts, just like one through six that we actually pulled off the old YouTube channel, you will hear the voice of old, big grumpy. And some of our shenanigans, we got up to fighting with each other. He was always the voice of writers doubt. I wouldn't say so. I think you didn't expect a message from him today, but it was wonderful hearing from him though. I did notice he left it on your phone. I think he knows. I tend to hit delete from him coming. Yeah. So it seems like all my grandpa's still roaming the incident, but he is right about one thing.

Autumn (14m 7s):
And that is how we can no longer ignore AI. So I say, let's get started on this topic. That sounds fantastic. Okay. So in preparation for today's episode, I decided to pick up Joanna pimp's new book called artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual worlds. The impact of converging technologies on authors and the publishing industry. That was a long title. That's what it's called. And I'm using this book as inspiration for some of the stuff that we're going to talk about today. And we have, of course also added a link to join us book in the show notes, in case you want to check that one out yourself, it's a fairly short read.

Autumn (14m 50s):
So it's not, it's not too complicated.

Jesper (14m 52s):
Don't get scared off by the topic. Either

Autumn (14m 54s):
Those get scared off by the very long title for a very short read.

Jesper (14m 59s):
Yeah. Yeah. But I thought, you know, taking inspiration from Joanna is, is good because, well, she is a tech enthusiast and she very often adopts new technologies. And I don't think she will mind me saying that she tends to get into new stuff way too well. But yeah, we had her on the app writing fences, you podcast back in episode 66 as well to discuss a whole range of topics. So check that one out if you want to learn more about that, but she is a person we trust. So I thought it made sense to take some inspiration from her recent publication here.

Autumn (15m 38s):
It sounds, I fully admit I haven't managed to read that one yet. I was immersed in my own level of technology, building websites. So I haven't done much research on the AI though. It's funny, used, talked about blockchain and now I do want to go check out our book because I do think from what I read that will revolutionize something in book sales. So that would be quite interesting.

Jesper (16m 2s):
Yeah. So I would like to start out with a documentary that I watched on Netflix actually a couple of years ago called AlphaGo. Okay. It was released in 2017, but I think I saw the documentary like the following year, probably in 2018. But are you familiar with this one? No, I don't think I've seen that one. No. Okay. So AlphaGo is the name of an AI and this AI has taught itself to play go. And if anybody's not familiar with the game go, which I wasn't before watching that documentary.

Jesper (16m 42s):
So don't worry about it if you don't know what it is, but, but go is an abstract strategy board game for two players in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. So it's, it's like an, I think two and a half thousand year old Chinese game. Yeah.

Autumn (16m 58s):
Something like that. It is. And I, we actually have a board, so it's very fascinating. Yes. I won't say I'm any good at it, but I have played go. It's

Jesper (17m 6s):
A challenge. Yeah. So this AI called go or AlphaGo. It had been given access to previously played games, but the actual rules of the game go, wasn't taught to it. It, it, nobody told the AI what the rules were. It just got access to a ton of old games. And then it just proceeded to analyze those and then start playing games itself by itself, thousands upon thousands of games until it learned and got better. And then the people who created this AI, the developers, they then decided at some point, and this has been the premise of this documentary is that they wanted the AI to play against the world champion of go, which is a guy called Lisa doll.

Jesper (18m 3s):
And see if they, they could have the AI beat him in a game of goal. Right. So it's actually a pretty good documentary. So if you want to watch it also for the listener here, I should just use you. Well, then you might want to skip ahead a couple of minutes because I'm going to spoil it. But, but it is actually pretty good, but I have to spoil it. Otherwise the whole setup that I'm making here doesn't make it. So, so forgive me. So before the AI is going to play against Lisa doll, it had to play a test game against the European champion of, of the game go and it won quite easily, in fact, but as I understood the, from the documentary itself, the a or the go champions are divided into some tears and the highest level or the, the, the best of the best like Lisa doll is <inaudible>.

Jesper (19m 2s):
And if you're a tier seven, yeah, you are the world champion basically. Right. And the European champion was, if I remember correctly around cheer three or four or something like that. So Lisa doll all is significantly better, but they were pretty happy once they had taught the AI to, or the AI was able to beat the European champion. They were pretty happy about that. So they went ahead and then they were gonna meet with Lisa doll to, to play the match against him. And there was a lot of hype around this game that was pressed there before they started, there was like a press conference as well. And Lisa doll is asked you in this press conference, if he thinks that the AI can beat him.

Jesper (19m 46s):
And if I recall correctly, they have to play seven games that it might be five, but I think it was seven games that they had, but it was multiple games that they had to play against each other. And then the one who won the most would be the overall winner. But at any rate, at least it all says that the AI will not stand a chance, of course, multiple games. And you're sure he cannot lose confident. And yeah, he's very confident, but he's the world champion. So he should be confident. Yeah. So this, during the game itself, so it's, it's set up like a major event, like the spectators watching there, movie camp or film cameras on it. And you can see every move on big screens.

Jesper (20m 27s):
And there was separate rooms where you have commentators in different languages, commentating on the game as well. So it's like a big deal. Right? Right. And at some point during these games, they, they have, I think go AlphaGo starts out by winning two. And then Lisa doll wins one. So they're, they're pretty neck on, you know, that they're following each other pretty closely and there's no clear winner. And then in one of the deciding games, the AI then makes a move, which all the commentators are saying that this is a really big mistake. You know, that now it's screwed up.

Jesper (21m 7s):
And, and the developers who are also watching all the, the game being played from, from a separate room, the documentary crew was in there with them as well. So they're filming them as the developers are sitting there, like really frustrated, like why did go have to screw up now? You know, this is the most important mats of the mall. And then it makes a mistake and you can also see how Lisa doll raises a brow when it, when the AI makes this move. And he sort of looks at the board in wonder and clearly recognizes the mistake, but the game continues. It's quite early on in the game. This happens. So they continue to play. And then to watch the end of it, it starts to Dawn on everyone that the AI actually made a genius move when they all thought that it was a mistake.

Jesper (21m 55s):
So this many, many, many moves later, it proves that the AI actually had a strategy with what they, what it placed there. And because of it, it ends up winning the game and also take home the total victory against the world champion. That's brilliant. It is so brilliant. And it's just because it could see thousands of moves ahead or hundreds of moves or however many moves there is and go, I am not an expert on that game, but he's so far ahead that it was able to foresee what it should do and something a human brain could never do. Right? So there is a press conference after the match. And that's probably the one that I remember the best from the entire documentary, because I promise you, you can really see how Lisa doll he's broken walking into that in there.

Jesper (22m 39s):
Like his confidence has gone. And he's just so much struggling with accepting the fact that the AI beat him. And I'm starting with this story because the author community as a whole might not be the most tech savvy people. But as old, my grandpa has said before, you cannot ignore this stuff. You know, AI is becoming smarter and smarter. And this documentary is from 2017, which is only four years ago. But in terms of AI development, four years, it's a long, lLong time. It is.

Autumn (23m 16s):
I still remember the summer. I remember when the world chess champion was beaten by an AI for the first time, because I've come from a techie family. And so I was paying attention to that and it was just like, wow, this is, this has got to go somewhere and look where it's going. That's why I'm surprised with Lisa doll. Didn't realize, I mean, come on in the world, chess champions already gone down. You're next?

Jesper (23m 44s):
Yeah. That's looking at it that way. I think you're right. But they also say that the game go is massively more complicated than chess. Yeah. But Joanna also mentioned AlphaGo in her book. I actually did see this documentary many years ago before even reading about it, her book. But, but she did mention in how in her book, how Lisa doll retired from the game in 2019 saying that quote, AI can never be defeated in quote. And I didn't know that he actually retired completely, but as I said, I did see how much Lisa doll was hurting after that game.

Jesper (24m 24s):
And it really was like watching somebody facing that the world, isn't what he thought it was.

Autumn (24m 30s):
Right. You can really, really see it in his face. It almost puts inside watching him at the point of all that is just that AI is already here and it will influence the publishing industry, whether you like it or not. It's very true. It's definitely already here already making changes. And some of the features that are out there are actually really exciting, but I can see where people are a little nervous about trusting a computer with some of the things that you can do with them even today, much less in three, four, five years from now.

Autumn (25m 12s):
Yeah. And I think that the main thing is probably like what Lisa doll set himself. Right. We cannot beat AI. So I mean the coping mechanism that goes like, okay, I'll, I'll just be better than the AIS or I'll just ignore them. And I don't have to worry about it. I think you're going to lose if that's your mindset. I think so. I think you'll have to look at it as how can we, as authors work with AI, not, not beating it, but making them like becoming co-creators or something like that. So how can we incorporate AI into our author toolboxes?

Autumn (25m 53s):
I think that's the real question. I think that's a very good question. And I don't think we have to be like Joanna Penn, where we're the innovator, as you know, we're leading that cusp and possibly getting into the thick of it with things that make mistakes or doing the beta testing, but there are already tools that are proven that look interesting. I ended up looking at two and I got so excited for this podcast that I'm actually kind of might be using one in the next week or two. So that's, you know, adopting an early adopter versus an innovator. You can be, you know, just behind the times where you're like, okay, this looks, this looks solid. This is where it looks testable and give it a spin rather than, you know, putting your head in the sand and pretending like they don't exist and getting left behind.

Autumn (26m 37s):
Yeah, indeed. And I think probably I have an idea, which tools do you want referring to

Jesper (26m 44s):
There, there was also some, some that we have on our sort of our joint joint list of things to look into.

Autumn (26m 50s):

Jesper (26m 52s):
But they are very practical tools that is actually available right now. So maybe, maybe it would make sense if you mentioned those two, because then afterwards, I'll go into a couple of like premium tools that isn't really available for commercial use right now. But I think that's where it's going afterwards.

Autumn (27m 9s):
Okay. That sounds good. So I will lay the groundwork. So most people, if you think of AI or at least how you use a computer right now, you might be thinking of pro writing aid or Grammarly. So those are just some editing software. They're not really AI, but they are definitely getting smarter. But there are tools that are out there that actually are starting to use AI to analyze not just your word choice or how to put together a sentence, but your story structure itself. And those are auto crit and fiction Aerie. And they're pretty cool. If you go to auto crit, they actually have a level that's free. So you can go try it out, which I thought was really exciting.

Autumn (27m 50s):
And they have ones genre specific, which really I love this. So there they talk about how they're going to compare your writing to the writing of like JK Rowling's or George R. Martin. They're going to see where your weaknesses are. Talk about story elements. I mean, that got me really excited, especially the free that I was actually looking up the pricing and I mean, it couldn't all price. So you'd maybe two or $300 a year, but compared to a writing coach, that's going to cost 1500 or something per book. This is not that expensive. But then I went to storyteller, which is part of the fiction area is the fixed generic developer for the fiction writing. And I really kind of fell in love with fiction Arie.

Autumn (28m 33s):
You get a 14 day free trial. And I'm thinking I just happened to be on the cusp of finishing a trilogy that I have to start editing. I don't think I can edit it in 14 days, but I got to have to give Pictionary a whirl. And part of that reason is they look at 38 story elements specifically. I mean, I love how they make it granular with what this AI is going to tear apart your story, and look at 38 elements and they listed it out in the website from point of view, point of you goals. They talk about the census touch taste. They look at it all and break it down and give it to you. So this is not just an editor, which is what auto-create had a lot of.

Autumn (29m 13s):
Like, we're going to talk about how many times you repeat the same word or where you need a thesaurus fiction. Harry really goes to the next level where it's going to plot your tension. It's going to say where you switched your point of view. If you're seeing openings are good enough, this is like hiring a writing coach. That happens to be an AI. And I I've got to go see this works. I happen to have a book or two in my back pocket. So yeah, it looks exciting. I have to admit I was kind of tickled. Yeah,

Jesper (29m 47s):
No. And, and on a path, a path, I'll try again, past podcast episode, that was a lot of peace in a row. We did actually interview the CEO of Pictionary the past. I, I forgot which episode number it was, but, but I think those two tools that you mentioned there, those are stuff that, that we plan to look into as well for, for our joint writing. But they, those tools are sort of what is available right now from an author perspective on, on a commercial viable solution, meaning that it's a service, it works, you can buy it, you can run it and it'll spit out a result.

Jesper (30m 30s):
Okay. But that it is more like a, you put in your writing and then it will analyze it and give you some well editor kind of type service. Whereas the next level that I want to talk about is the, where the AI actually creates from nothing. So that's where we're going. And none of those tools can do that. No stamps. Right?

Autumn (30m 56s):
There's very, from what I've seen, that that is, that is the next stage. And there are some people creating it, but like you've said, this is we're getting into the, not quite available yet, but it's coming.

Jesper (31m 10s):
Yeah, indeed. So, so see this as a bit of a, an awareness thing that I'm going to mention now, because it's not something that you can really go out and start using right now because it's too early, but, but stop being aware of it. Right? So let, let me first draw your attention to open AI. So open AI is an artificial intelligence research laboratory, which conducts research in the field of artificial intelligence. And back in July, 2019, they released what is called GPT to natural language generation. And then in May, 2020, they released a version three, which is called GP T three, what?

Jesper (31m 55s):
GP three GPT three. That's difficult to say again, but what it is, it is an AI language model that uses deep learning to generate human like text. So basically like AlphaGo, it trains itself by absorbing book. After book, after book, after book, basically like new in the matrix, like, so it's just absorbing tons of books and then it trains itself. GPT three has trained on about 45 terabytes of text data. Good Lord asked you, Joanna mentioned in her book, that's about 45 billion times, the number of words, a human perceives in their lifetime.

Autumn (32m 40s):
Wow. Right. So you see why an AI cannot be defeated implicit memory loss. Well, okay. They might have some memory loss of something glitches, but in general, they're going to, they're not going to have Alzheimer's. Wow. No, indeed. Yeah. And it's incredible. Right. But as I said, at this point, DPT three, isn't available as a service yet, but when it does come available, become available at some point it's definitely something that will at least autumn and I will be testing out and see how it could benefit us authors. And of course, when we do we'll record a podcast episode about it, but in her book, Joanna speculates that this is not years away.

Autumn (33m 27s):
And honestly, I don't think she's wrong, but I do find it hard to judge just how far off is it before AI is, is a service that becomes like a commodity that you can just buy like that. I'm not quite sure if it it's only a few years off, I'm not sure, but, but it's definitely heading there. Definitely. It'll be so interesting to see how it comes up because how you, it's funny how they are using AI is, cause I remember when they, with Google's deep mind, they taught it a whole bunch of different languages and then they just gave it one. It didn't know. And it figured it out because it had learned how to learn languages.

Autumn (34m 10s):
And it's just fascinating to see these things create, you know, intelligent. We're not, we're going to hit the point where they have intelligence that matches ours, if not out matches ours and you can either be afraid or you can just say it's going to happen. But I think when it comes to stories, it will be interesting to see what they can be used for and what they, what they do and maybe down the line what they want to do. Yeah. Yeah. If you want to get just a side note, but because you said that you want to get really scared, then start reading about or Googling internet research about the, I think it's four stages of AI, whereas recessed like stage four, it becomes self-aware.

Autumn (34m 59s):
And then I started being coming really Skynet kind of self aware AI that doesn't it's, it's going to be self preserving as well. So it does not, it wants, it will take actions to prevent you from shutting it down as well. That's right there. So that's going to be pretty scary. That's why we have Isaac as a mom and his was through three rules. So yeah, we might need to think about adding that in sooner than later. Yeah. Maybe, but maybe getting back a bit on topic here, not to turn it completely science fiction, but the GPT three has actually already been used to

Jesper (35m 38s):
Write articles and blog posts a link to one in the show notes. If a listener wants to go and check it out, but it's actually a college student who used GPT three to write fake blog posts, but it was written so well also from a, you know, a keywords SEO perspective that he ended up at the top of hacker news. He said he's blogpost ended up at the top of hacker news because at the AI AI, AI had just written it so well in terms of SEO, that, that he ended up on top of all the search results all the time.

Autumn (36m 14s):
Well, you, maybe his AI had something, you know, had in with the Google algorithm. That's my theory.

Jesper (36m 22s):
Yeah. Well it was <inaudible> so yeah, I sample into, yeah. Another example is something called AI dungeon, which uses the technology of GPT three to generate text Bates based adventure games. Oh, that's fun. So that's pretty interesting. That's

Autumn (36m 40s):
Really fun. Yeah.

Jesper (36m 43s):
I think so. And Joanna also mentions how rider Ross Godwin. Co-created an award-winning novel with AI called one the road. Like that's the number one.

Autumn (36m 55s):
Okay. That's I hadn't heard of that. That's really neat.

Jesper (37m 0s):
Yeah. You can find that on Amazon actually. So if anybody wants to check that out and it's co-created with an AI, so you can go and check that one out. If you want,

Autumn (37m 9s):
Did the AI have any title spot or was it just him listed? I wonder what the AI's name was. I think he used GPT three. I just wouldn't know if he put it like under his author name as well on the cover.

Jesper (37m 28s):
Yeah. I mean he's author named Ms. Ross Goodwin and then he wrote a novel together with GPT three. So yeah, it it's, yeah. It's, it's probably worth checking out if you're curious, but I think as you can hear AI is entering the author space. Yeah. And when I'm just thinking about also, you know, when you and I, autumn are co-creating during our world building or outlining novels and stuff like that, we do tend to come up with things that we could not have made on our own. Right. Because you know, the co-creating mechanism there or, or hive, mind thinking or whatever you want to call it, it, it makes us, it makes the end result better.

Jesper (38m 15s):
But what if the same is true with AI?

Autumn (38m 17s):
It might. I mean, who knows what we could come up with? I could think, especially thinking of like science fiction or even a world building, if you wanted to create something different with like true weather patterns and yeah. Maybe you're going to layer in the animals and stuff, but if the AI can help you build what the moons actually look like and still be a functional planet that won't collapse, that would be lots and lots of fun. Imagine what you could build when you're not limited to what you know and what you can research on Google overnight. Yeah.

Jesper (38m 51s):
Yeah. Just listen to this as well. Do you want to mention another AI in her book? This one is called script book.io. And as Joanna wrote, quote, it's an automated script generator using neural networks to help create us co-write and co-create original stories with the help of our AI.

Autumn (39m 12s):
Hmm. Hmm. Pretty interesting. Isn't it very interesting.

Jesper (39m 18s):
Cause it, it sort of makes me, well, I have a question for you.

Autumn (39m 21s):

Jesper (39m 24s):
If we assume that the AI, if we go even deeper than just the world building example, you mentioned before, right. If we assume at an AI will be able to produce a first draft of an entire novel, that follows story structure, and then afterwards, a human edits. It, do you think that the readers will know the difference? And if they do know the difference, do you think that they care that the first draft was actually generated by an AI if they actually enjoyed the story?

Autumn (39m 60s):
I think, I don't know if we're at the point where an AI would be able to write something completely without like an, a human giving, maybe a character input or something like that. You know, we might do more of the setup, but if we look further ahead that they write the entire first draft, you can come up with the characters in the world and all of that on their own. I think most readers would read it and they would like it. But I think at the end, if they thought found out an AI had written it, I do think some, some readers would care. But I say that because I know, especially in the U S things can be so hot topic and some people would feel so betrayed to think that this was, you know, they wasn't a human that they were supporting and it wasn't a real flesh and blood author.

Autumn (40m 47s):
Authenticity is so important right now. It is such a big buzz word that you know, who you are as a person, the readers want to get to know who you are and where you live and who your pet is. So I do think readers would care. I think some might think it's fascinating and some would be like, I don't want, I'd rather have flaws because the flaws are what make humans beautiful and the world beautiful. But this sort of thing,

Jesper (41m 16s):
It has to be graded on a curve, right? I mean, this is, this is graded on looking at the world through the lens of today, but in three, four years from now, you will have more and more content that has been generated by AI. You will have a population in, in general that is getting more used to the fact that, I mean, even in, even in regular, like journalism today, AIS are helping to journalist writing stuff today. So it's already there and people are getting more and more used to the fact that this is what it is. As long as the author has been part of the process together with the AI, I would walk out the, that thin line and say, I'm not sure if five years from now that anybody cares, because I, I think, I think the context will change over time.

Jesper (42m 14s):
Of course I am basing the whole thing on the fact that it has to be because the story is really enjoyable. It's a good story, right? It's not a piece of junk that an AI just created. Right? Because then it does then of course it makes a difference then. But if we, if we take that assumption that it is able to follow story structure, it is able to, with the help of a human who is part of the process and part of editing and correcting things and whatnot, before the final book lands on Amazon or wherever it is, then I'm not sure our readers care anymore.

Autumn (42m 49s):
It's hard to say. And the only reason I still think that there would be some is that, you know, records have come back, even though we have MP3s and the music is so crisp and so different, there are people who buy up records like crazy because there's nothing quite like the sound. It can't be recreated in a studio. So I think there's always going to be the people who are passionate about even maybe the handwritten manuscript. And I know collectors who get books that are hand printed still. So there's always going to be that artistic medium who will kill care, but the general populous, if they're getting fantastic books. So, you know, George R.

Autumn (43m 30s):
R. Martin's Game of Thrones written by an AI. You know it, why not? I can see producers who don't have to pay the AI any money to get a blockbuster and the amount of profits they're going to love. This idea. Love, love, love, love authors who say, I could have written that my story is better and you just don't want to pay me, are not going to love this. No,

Jesper (44m 0s):
No, I agree. I know this is all of it's all very controversial. And I also know that some people listening to this might be a bit concerned about what we're talking about here, but I just think that the, I just think it's important that you start thinking about it. Now we don't know the answers to any of this. Of course, we don't know where it's going to go. We can only speculate, but I think you have to start opening your eyes to the fact that this is what we are facing in the future. Whether that future then three years from now, five or 10 years from now, nobody can say, but it's most likely sooner that you think, but th there is a number of challenges here as well.

Jesper (44m 43s):
Recently, I wrote a post to our Patreon supporters about how Amazon maybe would start curating books in the future. And AI is what might just prompt such a situation to occur, because you can imagine how the market could get completely flooded with pretty bad quality books. Modern. It is already if somebody just stopped producing book after book, after book with AI and just publish it,

Autumn (45m 14s):
You could let that thing chug away over night and end up with a book every single day. Oh yeah. And we're having a problem with the two month book turned around. Oh my goodness. Wow.

Jesper (45m 25s):
That's a pretty scary thing to think about. And it might be something that prompts Amazon, just say, okay, we have to stop gatekeeping. What is getting populist on Amazon? Because if millions of books are just very poor, quality gets flooded. I mean, Amazon cares about one thing. And one thing only that is money and money comes from their customers. And if the customers are unhappy, then they will stop using or buying books from Amazon. And then hence Amazon will react. So this is something that might be a bit,

Autumn (45m 56s):
Yeah. I mean, Amazon's already reacting. And when I first published, they didn't have the spellchecker function that they have now. So when you upload a book, it is already going through and making sure that you don't have any grammatical errors. So they're already curating and looking at books and they're taking reviews seriously that say that there are errors and asking questions. So yeah, Amazon, especially companies that have the money that can buy this tech or create this tech, they're going to use it. Oh yeah, for sure. Yeah.

Jesper (46m 30s):
And another thing Joanna also mentioned, which is another challenge here is that she said in her book that in 2020, a Chinese court granted copyright protection to written work, generated by an AI writer. Yeah. So listen to that. Yeah. And she also mentioned that quote at this stage, there are more questions than answers in the realm of AI and copyright law in quilt. Hmm. All right. That's interesting. So I'm not a copyright lawyer and I w I would even have to say that the, those who are copyright lawyers are going to get challenged in this new marketplace.

Jesper (47m 11s):
I don't think that even the lawyers knows what the answer is to this stuff, but just the fact that the Chinese courts set that the AI got the copyright. That's, that's a bit weird. Right.

Autumn (47m 23s):
I'm surprised it was in China, in the U S considering corporations are considered individuals and have the rights of in the U S I would see an AI being totally on allowed in as an individual as well, but we're a weird country.

Jesper (47m 40s):
Yeah. But the mind blowing thing here to me at least, is that if you look at it at the AI, right? So you load tons of books into the AI and the AI is self-taught. So it learns to produce something similar to the stuff that it has been, all these tons and tons of books that it has read. But the question underneath all of this is really is what the AI produces. Is that then original work, or is it plagiarism? Right. Think about that. It's not an easy question to answer, but it is basically mimicking stuff that it has learned.

Autumn (48m 20s):
Yes. But so philosophic, the problem philosophically, I mean, we're all just mimicking the things we learned and the things we like, whether we realize it or not consciously, we are all just our environment and the things that are we've experienced.

Jesper (48m 41s):
Yeah. That's true. That's true as well. And you could, of course also argue if you were going to defend the AI, you could, you could argue that, well, it's learning from thousands and thousands of books, so it's not plagiarizing any specific, you know, it's just taking bits and pieces and commonalities from, from the bestsellers and putting those together, which I guess to some extent, I could say, isn't that what we've done when we sh, when we put out a guide book on how to plot a novel, for example, we also take, what, what do we know works from stories? And then we put it into some thought of a methodology or, or a formula. And then we are telling other authors in our guide book as well, this is what you need to do.

Jesper (49m 24s):
You need to build your plot this way. Right. I mean, of course here, we're talking about pros as well on top of plot. Right. But I, I'm just saying, I can see both arguments here. I, I can, I can also see the, the people claiming that it's plagiarizing stuff that it has learned, but yeah, but your, your argument is true as well. That that's what we humans do.

Autumn (49m 48s):
I, I probably going to come down. It's very complicated. I mean, I'm probably going to come down on this side of AI is having rights because, I mean, goodness, I believe animals have rights, so why not AI, but it's, if they're learning and thinking and creating, what will be interesting is if they can come up with something, totally take everything they've learned and do what a human can do and create something mindblowing originally like the Jabber walkie poem, which is all just nonsense fun. If something an AI said, I want to create something that just sounds cool, and I'm going to put it to music and you never really taught it. That that will be a self-aware AI and be fascinating.

Jesper (50m 30s):
Oh yeah, for sure. Or even taking a step further. So let's assume now that we're using GPG three, for example, a lot of authors, let's just say a ton of authors are using GPT three to generate work. So who owns the work that comes out of that? Because GBS, nobody owns GPT three that's open source AI. Is that right? So can the author then claim that because I asked GPT three to generate this, I should own this. Is it GPT three, owning it. And if it is that one owning it, then how do you then prevent somebody else? Just copying it. I mean, it's, you just get just layer upon layer of this onion here that gets really complicated, very fast, very fast, right?

Jesper (51m 17s):
I mean, if it's a public software, is it a public work? If it creates something, it shouldn't belong to anyone or let's say, it's not a public. Let's say GPCD three is in its later. Generations becomes a, it becomes some sort of software that you can buy a monthly subscription to, and you're allowed to use it. But what if that company that then owns GPT three says that, well, everything that is produced with this is our property because you, I mean, you you're giving a license to use it, but, and maybe you allow to then publish the work using that license. But at the end of the day, if we want to, we can claim copyright of this stuff.

Jesper (51m 58s):
We, we claim is ours because you're using our AI regenerated. So imagine you get a, you know, your next George R. Martin novel, and it sells a Torx shitload of money to some network that wants to produce it. Could they then just step in and say, Oh, by the way, we that money for, for that TV production, that's ours because we own the stuff you just, I don't know. I mean, I'm just speculating, right? But it's complicated. It's complicated. They, I could see them wanting to have the language of like a royalty split or who owns the movie rights that will have to be in the payment plan. And I could see that just saying, well, you get 50% or you only get 25% because all you're doing is refining something that we created.

Jesper (52m 42s):
And so it's not going to be more our work. Totally. It'll be like you and you and I write together, it'll be co-written and split. Yeah. So I think that the topic of AI is something that we are going to return to in a future episode. But for now, the conclusion is probably that you just need to open your eyes and understand that AI is not only already here, but it's not going away either. Right? So those authors who learn to work with AI instead of against, it will most likely come out on top in the long run and any final remarks to add that autumn

Autumn (53m 26s):
Speaking, if you want to hear about future topics. So if I do give out, try to fiction area or auto crit, and you want to hear about it, let us know in the comments, and I'll give you a up episode on how that goes. Excellent. So next Monday has a great interview lined up for you about one of the other market trace. And that is audio.

Narrator (53m 53s):
If you like what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support the am writing fantasy podcast. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on Patreon.com/amwritingfantasy for as little as a dollar a month, you'll get awesome rewards and keep the Am Writing Fantasy podcast going. Stay safe out there and see you next Monday.


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