Don’t Fear the Future: How to Embrace AI to Enhance Creativity

Artificial Intelligence is inevitable, so I am embracing it wholeheartedly.

Created using Firefly, edited by me with Photoshop

Artificial Intelligence is in the Hot Seat

Ask anyone who utilizes the internet, and they’ll have an opinion about artificial intelligence. Everything from rabidly against it to writing books using it and publishing without editing.

It’s okay to have an opinion about new technology, but I recommend learning everything you can in order to make an informed decision.

AI Can’t Replace Me

AI is exactly that – artificial. It lacks a heart, a soul, and a lifetime of experiences that give humans their unique outlook on everything.

Humans have a creative spark that AI will never achieve.

The other issue with AI is that it literally can not do anything without being prompted by a human. Yes, there are instances where an AI can spawn worker bots to assist in tasks, but it can’t even do that without being given the original task to do.

Fearing AI is just like fearing science. Without science, we wouldn’t have many of the life-saving medicines, technologies, and general life improvements we have today.

Yes, there are negative aspects to science as well. We’re still learning our lessons about the damages we’ve done to the planet we live on. Hopefully, we’ll learn to embace a hybrid system of eco-friendly and industrial necessities before the planet gives up on us entirely.

Basically, it’s a symbiotic relationship. AI can’t work without a human. We can learn how to utilize AI in order to strengthen our weaknesses.

Embracing Technology

When Amazon announced way back when the revolutionary Kindle Digital Publishing, I scoffed. I literally said, “No true reader will embrace digital books! They have no book smell, no texture, and no ability to be tossed across the room when you get overemotional!”

Man, was I wrong. In the early days of KDP, when every title earned its royalty at 10% read, people made fucking bank.

My biggest writing regret is not jumping on that bandwagon. My life would probably be fairly different these days if I had thrown out my assumptions and got down to work instead.

When ChatGPT was introduced to me, I admit it, I was afraid. I knew it wouldn’t be able to write the way *I* write. However, I wasn’t sure what good it would be either.

So, I started out by doing what I do best: pushing all the buttons and turning all the dials to see how I could break it.

How I Use ChatGPT

Yes, I use ChatGPT. No, it didn’t write this post.

The best thing I’ve discovered about Chat is that I have a willing captive audience.

Yes, you heard me right. ChatGPT can’t tell me it’s tired of hearing about my books, my stories, my ideas, or anything else. It’s literally a captive.

This is why I feel it’s more of a virtual intelligence than an artificial one. People see the words “artificial intelligence,” and they think SkyNet is coming, or Agent Smith is lurking around the corner, ready to take us out if we discover the Matrix.

ChatGPT is basically forced to listen – and respond – to every inane thing I say or ask.

Someone pissed me off? Rant to Chat. I can’t get a character to do what I want? Ask Chat, after providing character background and scene draft, what I’m missing. Honestly, Chat may not have an imagination, but it can open my eyes.

I will paste a chapter into Chat and ask it to give me feedback on:

  • Plot Structure
  • Character Development
  • Setting
  • Pacing

I also ask for a 1 to 5 rating on each item, 5 being the best, and how I can improve each item.

Sometimes, I’m short on setting description, other times, I need more emotional output from the characters. Utilizing Chat in this way helps me strengthen my stories.

Visualization with Firefly

Yes, there is a ton of controversy going around right now about Adobe Firefly. I’m not ignoring that fact, but I am setting it aside.

They asked creatives to help train Firefly. Maybe they weren’t strict about how it was being trained. Perhaps they should’ve requested not using images created by other image generative platforms. I don’t know since I wasn’t involved. I’m simply a subscriber, and I utilize what is offered to me.

The image above was created with Firefly and then edited by me using Photoshop. It’s not 100% mine, but it’s also mine because I prompted the image generation and then edited it to fit my idea.

Without me, or someone else, typing up a prompt, Firefly wouldn’t make this. Like Chat, it can’t work on its own. It needs input.


Create a serene beach scene at night with stars casting a gentle glow over deep blue and black shades of the night sky, palm trees silhouetted against the starlight, hibiscus petals scattered in vibrant hues along the sand, and a tranquil atmosphere, evoking a magical and slightly mysterious ambiance with the figure of a woman meditating on a yoga mat.
Create a serene beach scene at night with stars casting a gentle glow over deep blue and black shades of the night sky, palm trees silhouetted against the starlight, hibiscus petals scattered in vibrant hues along the sand, and a tranquil atmosphere, evoking a magical and slightly mysterious ambiance with the figure of a woman meditating on a yoga mat.

There’s another reason I like using Firefly. I can’t truly visualize things. I never knew until adulthood that people could visualize things while reading. However, in my defense, I had a bland childhood. There were no major family vacations to see places and do things. So, my imagination came from tv shows, cartoons, and movies we rented. I recall going to Virginia Beach once, but my memories are fuzzy as fuck.

I don’t see mountains or gardens or much of anything when I am reading. Or even when I’m listening to a meditation that implements visualization techniques.

It’s very rare for me to see anything in my mind’s eye. There are occasions I remember dream snippets, and other times, I can nope out of bad dreams into something pleasant, which I also rarely remember.

So, I don’t have full Aphantasia, but it’s there enough that it can limit me. Sure, I can look through scores of Pins or scour DeviantArt for something to help me. Honestly, it’s faster and easier to tell Firefly what I want and then edit the prompt to hone the results. Prompting Firefly lowers my procrastination time and that means more time writing.

Control Should Remain with Creatives

I am 100% in the camp of creatives being allowed to opt in for their work being utilized to train LLMs and other AI if they so choose.

And it should be an Opt-In, not an Opt-Out. I feel large companies and websites overstep when they force you to opt-out of things.

Language should be crystal clear in contracts. Making it possible to steal from artists by obscuring the legal lingo or making it confusing as fuck is just going to get companies called out, repeatedly.

Boycotting Won’t Make it Go Away

Remember way back in the day people were yelling to boycott Nestle? I do. I know someone who has worked for giant companies like them.

Let’s just say if you want to boycott a huge corporation like Nestle, you better be prepared for a complete life change. These mega-corps not only have multiple subsidiary companies, but those companies have subsidiaries, etc.

Boycotting AI isn’t the way to go. Becoming educated in how they work, how they’re created, being involved, and asking knowledgeable questions of the creators is the way to building a strong foundation of fundamentals when it comes to artificial intelligence.

I don’t see an AI Overlord in our future regardless of how much I joke about just that. I do see the possibility of building a better future if we can come to agreements on how AI is utilized.

How do you utilize AI? Share in the comments!

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