Everyone is saying AI is coming for writing jobs — but I’m not so sure

Elizabeth Westphal
2 min readDec 11, 2022

I’m sure you’ve seen these click-bait type articles all over medium recently, and what a great way to get a writer to panic-read your article. Here’s some nuance and reassurance from a software developer: your writing job is safe for now and I have proof.

Exhibit 1: Ask AI to write to plot of a new Stephen King novel.

Okay, does it sound like a high schooler’s last minute homework assignment to summarize a Stephen King Novel? Yes. But does it sound like an intriguing, inspired pitch for a new novel? Definitely not. AI pulls inspiration from what information is in its training data, and draws a conclusion based on that information. We can “feed” an AI every Stephen King Novel in existence, but in most cases all the AI will be able to produce is an aggregate of what already exists.

Exhibit 2: Ask AI to write an excerpt from that Novel.

See what I mean here? It sounds like a high school freshman in a rush to finish a homework assignment. As a developer I’ll admit I find this amount of creativity from an AI a bit eerie, but as a writer I’m not exactly sweating yet. The AI seems to gravitate towards the most tired phrases and most repeated imagery in its writing. Not to mention the age old rule of “show, don’t tell”.

Exhibit 3: Describe Samantha as if the audience is being introduced to her for the first time.

UGHH, computers writing women, am I right?