Monday, March 13th, 2023

Has ChatGPT ruined science-fiction for short-story authors?

Basic graphic of two rocket ships blasting off from an alien planet

Some of the negative effects of ChatGPT and its ilk have been felt in the fiction world. Clarkesworld, a publisher of short story science-fiction, had to close its submissions after being bombarded with AI generated pitches. This is quite the blow to those hoping to “make it” in the sci-fi world as it was one of the few publishers to pay authors.

It’s not unexpected. “Get rich quick” scams arrive within hours of any new technology being launched. While there’s no doubt it has some uses for authors looking for inspiration, we now have entire novels being written and illustrated by AI.

I like sci-fi as a celebration of the human imagination. It’s both ironic and a shame it’s become a target for “life hacks” and scammers. I also wonder what it will do to the confidence of those who us who write such things for fun, and get knocked back with an allegation  “your submission is written by AI”.

(I’ve already been accused of using generative AI to create my original art.)

What I’m not entirely sure of is how this genie can be put back in its bottle. My hope is that after a few months of excitement, things will calm down, perhaps helped by a plagiarism court case or three. After that, I think personal branding is going to be more important for authors than ever.

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My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction. Find out more.