I am (Not) a Robot

I am (Not) a Robot

Mar 11, 2023

Hello Owlets!

At the end of another crazy week over here in the Nest. Submissions are in full swing and numbers are UP. Which prompted the spouse of one of our staff members to muse whether we would see any submissions land in our inboxes that were generated by A.I. Which made me first blink in horror. And then stop and blink in horror again. And then think, "No, surely not." And then assert that it would be very very difficult—nearly impossible—for someone to use an A.I. program like Chat GP to not just write a query letter and sample for submission, but an entire novel and to get it all the way through the signing process.

And I maintain that stance. That would be nearly impossible.

But on the other hand, we did put people on the moon.

And apparently journals that take submissions for shorter articles and fiction are facing the A.I. problem—in a big way. And I'm left wondering why. Why do people want to outsource one of the greatest joys of the creative life—crafting words into beautiful sentences, and beautiful sentences into stories—to lifeless programs? Is it a consumeristic impulse to make fast money on a thing that might sell? Is it the thrill of the challenge to see if it can be done? What is the value in training a robot to tell a story?

And now my (creative human) brain is humming, imagining a science fiction story that answers all these questions... But I think probably Isaac Asimov already did that. Probably in his Foundation Cycle.

And do you know who bought me my first Isaac Asimov book? Ellen, Owl's Nest founder Katie's mom. She handed me I, Robot in a used bookstore when I was a young teen and asked if I'd ever read any Asimov. I said no, so she bought it for me and introduced me to science fiction that wasn't Star Trek.

And that's how I know that A.I. should probably be left well enough alone.

And I promise you that I am not a robot.

Until Nest Time!


P. S. Episode 4 of Owl's Nest the Podcast drops on Monday! Be sure to subscribe to never miss an episode.

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