June 12, 2023

Episode 24: The Art of Words and Algorithms: Ethical AI Practices for Authors

Discover the fascinating world of AI writing tools and how to ethically use them as an author.

Episode 24: The Art of Words and Algorithms: Ethical AI Practices for Authors

by Carma Spence | The Author Switch Podcast


In this episode of The Author Switch Podcast, I delve into the realm of ethical AI practices for authors. Discover the various AI writing tools available, learn about their pros and cons, and gain valuable tips on how to ethically leverage AI to enhance productivity, overcome creative hurdles, and generate ideas—all while preserving your unique voice and avoiding pitfalls like plagiarism and misleading information.

Recap & Takeaways

  • The pros and cons of AI writing to optimize your writing process
  • Tips on how to leverage AI effectively while maintaining authenticity
  • Unveiling the dangers of hallucinations, plagiarism, and relying solely on AI-generated content
  • Harnessing AI for social media content creation, summarization, and initial drafts
  • Leveraging AI as a brainstorming tool for enhanced creativity and idea generation

Transcript for Episode 24: The Art of Words and Algorithms: Ethical AI Practices for Authors

Welcome to The Author Switch Live, a podcast that helps you turn on the author switch and keep it on so you can get your book done. Now, today’s topic is The Art of Words and Algorithms: Ethical AI Practices for Authors.

But before I get to that, let me introduce myself. I am Carma Spence, your host of The Author Switch and creator of The Author Switch, the author diagnostic system, authorneering.com, and bookmarketingclub.com. And I am an award-winning author, speaker, and editor. I have written multiple books, many in ebook, five in physical book form, two of which made it to bestseller one, which won three awards. I’m also the contributor to several anthologies, many of which became international bestsellers.

So let’s get down to the meat of the matter, right? So today’s agenda. In this episode, I’m gonna be talking about what are AI writing tools. I’m gonna talk a little bit about the AI writing tools that I use and I’m familiar with.

I’m gonna talk about the pros of AI writing and the cons. And then leave off with some tips on how to use AI the right way ethically.

So what are AI writing tools? According to WholeWhale.com, and I’m gonna read it here, “AI Writing tools are software applications that use artificial intelligence to help you write better. They can help you with everything from grammar and spelling to style and tone.”

So if you’ve ever used MS Word and you see that little editor, that’s an AI writing tool. Grammarly uses AI. So AI has been with us for a long time. It’s only really become a hot thing recently because of the release and rapid membership of ChatGPT.

So the AI writing tools and I probably used more and just didn’t know they were AI, but these are the ones I know use AI and that I’ve used:

Jasper. That was my first real AI writing tool that I used.

ChatGPT, like who hasn’t these days?

I have gotten in on the early release of Bard, which is Google’s AI tool.

QuickWrite, which is one I recommend because it’s meant specifically for authors.

And a new one I just found out about. It’s called Magic Bookifier. And I’ll tell you a little bit about that.

And then of course there’s the AI tools just help you do ordinary things like Grammarly, which helps you spell things correctly.

MS Word editor, again, spelling correctly. Given that I’ve dyslexia, I need a lot of help in spelling things correctly.

Happy Scribe, as well as several others. I think one was called Trint. And these are AI transcribing tools. You upload an audio or a video and it transcribes the audio for you and Descript which does that as well as helps you edit the video.

So those are the ones I’m most familiar with. Before I go into like how to use these tools to best effect as well as just to be ethical cuz you don’t wanna have like plagiarism and you don’t wanna be a lazy writer. You don’t wanna be a hack. You’re trying to create a book that is going to spread your message into the world or attract clients. You do not want to be a hack, so you will love these tips.

So the pros of using AI writing tools besides making sure that you spell everything correctly are it can decrease the amount of time it takes to write something.

It can overcome minor glitches in your Author Switch when you’re like, oh, I wanna say something like this, but I can’t think of what it is. Sometimes you can have an AI writing tool kind of like get you over that little hump.

And it can be a creativity jumpstart because you can use it as a brainstorming tool.

But therein lie dragons. You gotta be aware of the dragons that come along with AI and the big one that I found is hallucinations.

What that means is that you’ll ask AI a question and the AI will spit out an answer and it will be wrong. It doesn’t exist. I did this recently. I’m doing some research for my upcoming book, The Author Switch, and I’m like, okay, is there any research that links this concept with this concept?

And it said yes in the journal of this. In the journal of that. And they found research does this and research does that. And then when I went to go find said research, I couldn’t find it.

So I went, Hey ChatGPT, you told me this. Can you help me find it? And it writes back to me, oh, oh, that was just an example. It doesn’t actually exist. This is just an example of what could be.

I’m like, that wasn’t what I was asking for. And if you Google hallucinations, you’re gonna find a lot of articles. In fact, my husband recently shared an article where a lawyer used ChatGPT to create the citations of something he was gonna do in his job. And the judge almost fined him for presenting false citations.

So you really need to be careful of those hallucinations.

There’s also potential plagiarism. A lot of these AI tools will scrape things from the internet, reword them a little bit, and spit them out to you. And number one, Google looks for that and will devalue your content if you do it. So you don’t, don’t want that.

Plus you never are a hundred percent sure is the idea that ChatGPT or Jasper just gave you. Is it somebody else’s? You know, if it’s somebody else’s, you don’t wanna use it. So do your due diligence to always check everything that these AI tools give you.

Another danger and I’m sure you’re not doing this, but there are people out there who are, they use the content that these AI tools give them verbatim without layering their own geek factor into it. And the problem is these AI tools spit out vanilla content. There’s no creativity, there’s no personality, and if you’re gonna be putting it on your website as a blog post, it’s not gonna do any good, cuz Google recognizes AI content because it lacks this creativity, this personality, this you, this geek factor that is you. So if you just use, I mean, honestly, the only thing that these AI tools can replace these days, who knows about the future, but right now they can only replace hacks and you don’t want to be a hack. Right?

And the fourth thing, and this was a statement I found. AI doesn’t care if the information it gives you is true. It just cares if it’s plausible. So that harkens back to my whole hallucination things. It spits out stuff that is plausible. So always double-check even if you’re using it as a research tool.

Always double-check. Double-check, double-check, double-check. Layer in. Now does this mean it’s gonna take you longer to do stuff? No. It will take you less time than if you were just using Google because it gives you some ideas that you might not have thought of. But you can’t just go with what it gives you. As beautiful as it may sound, don’t go with what it gives you.

So here are some tips for using AI the right way. Now I use AI a lot for creating my social media content. So I’ve already written content on my own without the AI tool, like a blog post or I’ve done a video. But now I wanna share it on social media. And of course, you can’t share the whole thing and you wanna come up with something that fits Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook. So what I’ll do, and this is really cool, in ChatGPT, you can say, please write an Instagram post that describes this URL, and you link it to your blog post and it’ll spit out something that’s 50% good. And then I edit it because, you know, I, uh, it’s not perfect, but it’s a lot easier than my having to sit there and go, okay, how, how, what should I say? Do I pull a sentence from here? It gives me a good jumpstart. So it used to be that it took me about eight to 10 hours to create my social media for the week.

Now it takes me about three to four. Because I’m using ChatGPT, Jasper, QuickWrite to help me summarize content I’ve already written so that I can post it in all those wonderful social media platforms. So it’s great. It’s great at summarizing content. I’ve also used it to summarize like episodes of a podcast.

It’ll come up with that quick little summary that I wanna put in there. Does that great because that doesn’t need to be creative or full of, it just needs to summarize the content.

AI is also really good at giving you like a quick first draft. So let me tell you about Magic Bookifier. What Magic Bookifier is, is you upload an audio to this tool, and then it spits out an ebook based on that audio.

Now I’ve done some experimenting with it. I would never use the content as is because it takes out all of your personality from the and just spits out something that’s uber-vanilla. However, it got the ebook started. It’s a great first draft. It gives you really good like Summary of the content that was in your audio.

It gives you a really good structure for an ebook. And then you need to go in and you need to throw back in your personality and layer in your expertise, your geek factor, your you-ness into that. But often that first draft is the thing that stops people. So, using AI to create this first brain dump, vanilla, bland, first draft that you can now massage and edit and layer in you, can save you a lot of time.

Another thing that ChatGPT and Jasper and QuickWrite are really good at is helping you come up with an outline. Often the way I work when I’m trying to create an outline for a book or a blog post, I might use one of those tools and then I’ll go and research to enhance that initial outline.

But what’s nice about these tools is it gives me ideas like, oh, I wouldn’t have thought of that particular subtopic within my larger topic. So it can actually help you write more robust blog posts and create more nuanced books.

Again, don’t use anything verbatim. Always layer in you.

And then finally, there’s idea generation. So you can put in a prompt that says, I wanna write about topic. Can you give me some ideas that my audience would find interesting within that topic. And it’ll spit out, suggest 10 or 20, and it will give you ideas that you can now run with.

When you use AI as a brainstorming tool, as an assistant to help speed along your own creativity. You’re using AI ethically. It can be tempting. Because sometimes once it’s learned your voice a bit, it can be tempting to use what, say ChatGPT or Jasper spits out verbatim, but don’t do it. Therein lies danger and a lot of the danger that’s there is any SEO that you’ve done on your blog is gonna tank because Google will recognize it. You will lose your authority and your influence when people find out that you haven’t thought these things through. And you need to because people are coming to you for you.

Honestly, AI can help enhance your productivity. It may even jumpstart your creativity, but it will never replace your creativity.

This is Carma Spence, host of The Author Switch, hoping that you are able to turn on your Author Switch and keep it on so that you can finish your book.

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The Author Switch is a podcast dedicated to helping experts, entrepreneurs, and small business owners turn on The Author Switch — and keep it on — so that they can leverage the power of books to take their businesses to a whole new dimension. Learn more about the show and where it is available on its page.