All About AI and Its Impact on Writing, From School Assignments to IT Tutorials

All About AI and Its Impact on Writing

Artificial intelligence (AI) aims to mimic human intelligence by combining vast amounts of data with programming that gives it the ability to learn and reason. As with human intelligence, AI systems can get smarter as they interact with humans through prompts and gather more experience and data. Artificial intelligence is developing rapidly, and it’s impacting nearly every industry and market. For better or worse, AI and AI tools are here to stay, and to move forward professionally, it’s important that we understand this technology and how it can be used to help us work smarter and more efficiently. We also need to be aware of the risks that AI presents.

One of the most common and popular applications of AI these days is using generative AI as a writing assistant. Writing is a core skill that is part of nearly every job, and AI tools such as ChatGPT can be used to support and supplement a person’s writing ability. It’s changed the way that people write by increasing their productivity and expanding their creativity. AI can help people to improve their grammar, and it can also proofread human-created content. Many writers have begun to use AI tools as springboards to help them organize their writing and gain perspective that they would otherwise be unable to access due to the limitations of human experience. AI can also be used as a research assistant, helping a writer by sorting and summarizing large amounts of information. It can also translate content into a number of different languages. This technology also underpins text-to-speech software that helps people with disabilities.

However, using AI for writing is not without its potential pitfalls. AI-created content can lack the authenticity and depth that curated, human-created content can achieve. As important as authenticity is the human capacity to see both sides of a situation and present content that is free of bias. It’s possible for AI to do that, but it’s dependent on the quality of its training data. Generative AI tools are also known to “hallucinate” what they don’t know, meaning that the accuracy of AI-generated content is also a real concern.

Professional writers fear job displacement and a lack of new career opportunities as AI becomes increasingly prevalent across all industries. With the shift to employing professionals to manage AI content development, there’s also a fear of becoming too dependent on this new technology, to the point that our own writing skills deteriorate from a lack of use.

Like professional writers, those working in academia and higher education have had mixed feelings about AI making its way into their field. AI content generators can be valuable time-saving tools for teachers who need to create lesson plans, quizzes, summaries, and other class-related materials. They can also be employed as learning tools for students with disabilities and those for whom English is not their first or primary language. But educators are wary of how students may employ these tools to minimize the effort put into school work or plagiarize AI-generated text. Everything from banning the use of generative AI technology to embracing AI literacy as a new facet of education has been suggested as school districts across the country grapple with how to use generative AI and what it might mean for the future of learning and teaching.

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