I’ve been talking a lot about AI-assisted graphics, but so far I haven’t mentioned AI-assisted writing, even though there exists a bunch of such tools as well. A couple weeks ago I decided to give OpenAI’s Playground an attempt to see how it could help fuel inspiration for my writing projects. There’s also another AI that has become increasingly popular recently – ChatGPT, which I’m sure you’ve heard about by now. I’ve tried it out as well, but found that the AI options in the playground are better suited when it comes to creative writing – but to each their own. I recommend you play around a bit with both to see what they can do!
Playground and Chat-GPT are both currently free, but you need an account to get started. Once you’re in, you’ll get to a page that basically looks like one big text box:
Here you can write a number of commands and hit ‘submit’ to have the AI start working. I started out by asking it to write a sales pitch for a novel with a story I largely made up but is inspired by one of my current projects. The AI quickly answered, highlighted in green:
Next, I asked it to give me a little bit more detail on some of the things it mentioned:
From there, you can dive further into the rabbit hole and ask it for more specific examples of anything it says. In this case, I wanted it to give me some options for mysterious curses, just to see what it came up with. You can also ask it to explain exactly why someone feels or does things the way they do and it will give you some options for that as well:
Once you have some basic information like this, you can ask the AI to come up with a synopsis for your story. Or you can decide to scratch it all and have it come up with another version simply by asking it to tell you a story about [subject here].
The AI can also come up with ideas for how to further develop plot points or characters. It’s not always great, but if you’re stuck someplace in your writing, perhaps you could try asking the AI for some help and suggestions? Even if you don’t end up using anything it provides you, just having someone suggest something can sometimes be enough to get those creative juices going:
When it comes to actually writing prose, the AI is very hit or miss. Some things sound great, others not so much. Right now there is definitely no need to worry about AI replacing humans when it comes to actual writing – yet. But every once in a while it might come up with a beautiful line when you’re struggling to get the wording just right.
At present, I don’t think this can be used to make a writing project from start to finish – but it’s so much fun to play around with and just asking it random things about stories I made up on the fly felt super inspiring. I imagine this will be the ultimate tool for people attempting NaNoWriMo without knowing their story beforehand or whenever they run into trouble mid-November!
You should definitely give it a go while it’s free and see what you think. Just like AI for images, I imagine AI for writing will be used all over the place before long – we better be prepared.