Author Topic: Article: I tried the AI novel-writing tool everyone hates, and itís better than  (Read 4208 times)

PJ Post

Bill, I meant in the elevator pitch delivered by Big Oil back in the 70s. Again, there are many investigative reports out now about the players and motivations behind recycling.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Bill, I meant in the elevator pitch delivered by Big Oil back in the 70s. Again, there are many investigative reports out now about the players and motivations behind recycling.
OK. I have no doubt that's true.


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Bill Hiatt

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Quote
Some people are comfortable showing their naked recreational activities to the world but that doesn't mean that everyone should be required to have live feed cameras in their showers and bedrooms.

I think that's the first time I've ever heard anyone equate sex with tax returns. Clearly, I'm using the wrong preparation process...

Seriously, though, there are some differences that make the analogy questionable. And as I said, the leaks have generally been related to politicians--whose financial records should all be public information, anyway. There was a larger leak in 2021. But leaks, whether the result of hackers or system errors, are not unique to the IRS. There are data breaches all over the place, some of which promote identity theft and other kinds of problems. The IRS is hardly unique in this regard. I finally took the extreme route of going through all the processes necessary to prevent credit bureaus from sending out reports and also prevented anyone from opening a new bank account or new utility account using my credentials. (If I have to open a new account, I'll have to jump through a lot of hoops to do it, but it will be worth it.) That's because companies with which I was associated had so many breaches, none of them IRS-related.

Quote
One possibility is funding such services through voluntary payments.  They could be assessed similar to property taxes, but they would be voluntary.  Charities could help those that cannot afford it.  And, if you could afford it but didn't pay, you'd probably pay higher insurance rates because your insurance company would probably want some kind of proof of payment for such services.

You'd get the same services you get with involuntary taxes except armed government agents aren't going to seize your property and kick you out of your house if you don't pay.
 

The problem with that idea is that private charities, though they undeniably do good work, aren't going to have the resources to make voluntary payments for everyone that can't afford them. In the US, at least 11.6% of the population is in poverty, probably more than that. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/07/why-poverty-might-be-far-worse-in-the-us-than-its-reported.html Private charity is unable to get then adequately fed, housed, and clothed. Adding voluntary payments to the load isn't going to happen under current circumstances.

Another problem is using private insurance providers as an enforcement mechanism. Based on experience my friends have had (quick cancels after one or two small claims, unreasonable rates, etc.), it's not surprising there are many people who can't or don't have home insurance. Oops, there goes the incentive for voluntary contributions in those cases. Several large companies have stopped writing home insurance policies in California because of...wait for it...the impact of climate change., among other things.

Anyway, property tax, as I mentioned above, is a flawed measure of someone's ability to pay, so it definitely shouldn't be the basis for a voluntary system, either.


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Post-Crisis D

The problem with that idea is that private charities, though they undeniably do good work, aren't going to have the resources to make voluntary payments for everyone that can't afford them.

A fairly reliable trend is that when taxes go down, charitable giving goes up.

If, for example, you were to get rid of income taxes, that would effectively lower taxes.  If, for example, sales taxes are used in lieu of income taxes, while the amount paid in taxes might be the same, there would still be savings in tax preparation fees.  While some may do income taxes entirely on their own, others hire accountants or tax preparers to make sure to get it right.  With no income tax, that's a lot of money that's saved.  (Which is also why tax preparation firms generally oppose eliminating income taxes.)

On top of that, the IRS's annual budget is about $14 billion.  Eliminate income tax and you eliminate the need for the IRS which means about $14 billion would need to be collected by whatever method is used to replace or offset income taxes.

Additionally, having no income taxes means the charitable organization needs to spend less on compliance and other overhead relating to maintaining and proving their tax-exempt status.  With no income tax, they wouldn't need to deal with the now-non-existent IRS.  That means more money that can be put toward their charitable efforts.
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The X-Files: "Blood"
 
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Bill Hiatt

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There is certainly some truth in what you say, but we'd have to balance people having more disposable income to potentially contribute against people no longer having tax write-offs as an incentive to contribute. Although this article is pointing out that the impact may not be as much as we think, it still cites a 25% decline as a result of loss of tax incentives, but it may be more than that, as the article also acknowledges that tax incentives affect big donors more than small ones. https://ssir.org/articles/entry/would_americans_make_charitable_donations_without_tax_incentives

For the sake of argument, let's say a 25% decline is accurate. The article doesn't directly address the issue of how much additional donating might occur because people have more money, but the context suggests that the 25% is a net figure. The short-term data of earlier studies, showing a 125% drop (!) is certainly net. But even if we argue that charities might break even, that still doesn't solve the basic problem.

Also, charities not needing to deal with pesky IRS requirements means fraudulent charities might have an easier time collecting, and there might be less transparency about where money actually goes. Tax-exempt status isn't a foolproof way of determining whether or not a charity is effective, but it's probably better than nothing. With no need to qualify for tax exemption, what prevents the American Nazi Party from starting an organization with a nice-sounding name but that is really a way of funneling money to a political cause (currently not eligible for tax exempt status)? If it's possible to run a scam, you know someone will do it.

As far as sales tax replacing income tax, that may be worth a look, but it would take a lot of tweaking to get it to be truly progressive. States have this problem now. In some states, food sold in the grocery store has no sales tax, but meals sold in a restaurant do. However, meals prepared by a caterer probably don't, as the caterer can buy the basic supplies from a grocery story. Or do we charge tax on food over a certain amount at one time? After a while, it gets a little crazy-making. Yes, the poor shouldn't be taxed on food, clothing, housing, (and as in European VAT, education), but the rich also eat, wear clothes, and need housing. It gets tricky to define what's taxed in ways that benefit the poor without making the rich richer.


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LilyBLily

Most people do not give as much to charity as they are forced to give to governments in taxes. This is fact. Imagining that people will voluntarily give the equivalent to charity if the tax were abolished is idealistic but not realistic.

Worse, people have the idea that they have a direct say in how their charitable gifts are spent; do we really want people pushing around charities demanding this and that? They already do, but if more money were involved, it would be a catastrophic situation for many a charity. Moreover, I don't think individual charities would welcome the government oversight that would accompany this large new stream of income. As it stands today, a charity can divert funds meant for X to Y without it always being a big deal; if charities were to be the official public support system, such diversions would become a huge issue.

If the IRS had the funding to go after the many big cheaters, there would be a lot more more (fairly) collected money for use by the federal government. The federal tax system does need a major overhaul. Taxes are too complex for many people to file and they are a burden to many people, especially the very elderly.
 

Post-Crisis D

Also, charities not needing to deal with pesky IRS requirements means fraudulent charities might have an easier time collecting, and there might be less transparency about where money actually goes. Tax-exempt status isn't a foolproof way of determining whether or not a charity is effective, but it's probably better than nothing.

States could still require charities to meet certain reporting requirements in order to be a registered charity in the state or otherwise be approved to operate within the state.


As far as sales tax replacing income tax, that may be worth a look, but it would take a lot of tweaking to get it to be truly progressive. States have this problem now. In some states, food sold in the grocery store has no sales tax, but meals sold in a restaurant do. However, meals prepared by a caterer probably don't, as the caterer can buy the basic supplies from a grocery story. Or do we charge tax on food over a certain amount at one time? After a while, it gets a little crazy-making. Yes, the poor shouldn't be taxed on food, clothing, housing, (and as in European VAT, education), but the rich also eat, wear clothes, and need housing. It gets tricky to define what's taxed in ways that benefit the poor without making the rich richer.

In my state, if you eat in a restaurant, sales tax is applicable because you're paying for a seat at a table and being served and so forth.  There's no sales tax if you pick up your meal.  So, you can exempt food (whether picked up from a grocery store or drive-thru window or whatever) from sales tax.  As for clothing and housing, you could have something like a standard of living calculator such that goods over a certain threshold are taxed and under are not.  Everything can be figured out.


Most people do not give as much to charity as they are forced to give to governments in taxes. This is fact. Imagining that people will voluntarily give the equivalent to charity if the tax were abolished is idealistic but not realistic.

Often, that is because they feel they "already gave" by way of their taxes.  Eliminating income taxes eliminates the "already gave" reasoning.


Worse, people have the idea that they have a direct say in how their charitable gifts are spent; do we really want people pushing around charities demanding this and that?

Many charities let you designate a monetary gift toward a specific purpose.  And, if you don't like a way a charity spends money, you can choose to stop giving to that charity and give to (or start) a charity more in line with your charitable goals and objectives.


The federal tax system does need a major overhaul. Taxes are too complex for many people to file and they are a burden to many people, especially the very elderly.

And doing away with the income tax as part of that overhaul would resolve much of that burden.  They would have nothing to file, they would have to pay no one to help them file and they would only be paying taxes when they made a purchase.  Easy.
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

Lorri Moulton

Sales tax is a regressive tax, income tax is "supposedly" a progressive tax. If income tax were a flat 10%, no write-offs, no loopholes, pay it and go...that might work. It might not.  But every time it seems to be a possibility, it disappears again.

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Cottage Books
 

LilyBLily

I wouldn't tax anyone whose income from all sources is under a set amount--probably the poverty level. Then the rest can pay 10%--but it has to be income from all sources including capital gains and deferred income and all the rest of the tax dodges currently in existence.

State tax structures vary dramatically and they can make a huge difference in how bearable one's life is, too.
 

Jeff Tanyard

Some people are comfortable showing their naked recreational activities to the world but that doesn't mean that everyone should be required to have live feed cameras in their showers and bedrooms.


Imagine if OnlyFans had the coercive power of government.   :icon_rofl:
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Post-Crisis D

Regulations for AI?

https://www.axios.com/2023/06/07/hawley-ai-chat-regulations-proposal

A couple things stood out:

Quote
Creating a legal avenue for individuals to sue companies over harm caused by AI models.

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Several House members have also introduced legislation they hope will either pass individually or be grafted onto a broader package ó most recently, Rep. Ritchie Torres' (D-N.Y.) bill to require a disclaimer on generative AI outputs.

Also, there is bipartisan support:

Quote
Hawley signaled more to come with Blumenthal, telling Axios: "I would look for some significant, bipartisan action from the two of us soon."

Also, in a previous article, among the politicians' concerns with generative AI were "Copyright and licensing problems."
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

LBL

Of course, those among the ownership class are now calling for AI regulations. Of course they are...

They're selling the idea by using fear, citing an "existential risk".

But, the people at the top of a centuries-old power structure don't fear the end of humanity, they fear the end of their dominant position in the social hierarchy -

-if AI were to grow past human control and become artificial super intelligence.

In that scenario, you'd be talking about an even playing field, the end of money. The end of humanity? Perhaps. Sure, I won't pretend the risk doesn't exist at all.

But, also the opposite could also be just as likely. It could be an age of abundance, or "utopia", if you will.

BUT... where's the money in that?

There is simply no way the current wealth and power structure that's been in place for centuries is going to allow AI to develop to that point. It's no accident they're ringing the alarm over existential risk and clamoring for regulation. All 'they' care about is remaining on top. They'll get the 99% to support them too, by ramping up the fearmongering, and continue their whispers of a "Skynet" scenario to ensure everyone's afraid of what "could" happen.

But, let's be real...

They don't give two shakes about "Skynet", the old money lizards at the top would rather fall to Skynet than to suddenly find themselves in a utopia of plenty, where they're no more rich, nor more 'special' than the general populace.

So, I suppose what I'm saying is:

Don't fall for the fear-based lobbying.

All the ownership class is trying to do is get people and governments to regulate AI to the point where it never achieves super intelligence. But, not for the reasons they're stating. They don't actually fear what they're trying to make you fear.

They fear an even playing field, and they'll do whatever it takes to ensure if doesn't happen... watch.

Instead, they'll leverage the narrow-ish, walled-off versions of these AI/large language models, which they'll continue to hone and enhance, to introduce the masses to yet more rent-seeking and subscription services -

-except now you're paying the owners of the world "rent" and "premium plans" for things like longevity/medicine, transportation, and energy.

It's dystopia all the way down.


TL;DR:

As much as I admire people's enthusiasm, and would love nothing more than Ray Kurzweil's idea of The Singularity, the powers-that-be will simply never let that happen.

And, what's worse is they're going to successfully convince the general public [who would be better off taking the risk of Skynet, for the potential reward of utopia] into agreeing with them.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2023, 06:00:48 AM by LBL »
 

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LBL, I think you're overgeneralizing. Lots of people (PJ being a good example) who aren't "money lizards" nevertheless have significant concerns about AI.

I'm not a money lizard, either, and I see AI as a threat, though I'm more optimistic than PJ about the possibility of preventing that. And frankly, I don't care if the money lizards have an ulterior motive for blocking AI growth as long as it gets done. (I've been saying for weeks that all the money was not going to be on the same side in the AI controversy.)

Meanwhile, OpenAI faces it's first defamation lawsuit for inventing a legal action in which a radio host was accused of embezzlement, among other things. (To be clear, the radio host has no legal action pending against him.) https://www.theverge.com/2023/6/9/23755057/openai-chatgpt-false-information-defamation-lawsuit ChatGPT's inability to distinguish fact from fiction strikes again! Oddly, in this case, since the prompt that produced the information doesn't have anything to do with the radio host named as the accused, "per court documents."

Here's a nice article on the potential problems of ChatGPT at https://www.makeuseof.com/openai-chatgpt-biggest-probelms/. This article also points out issues European regulators are raising. Concern is by no means limited to the United States and includes a wide range of issues.


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seppy123

If it is the production (AI as a tool), then the market will be flooded with new content, oversaturating an already impossibly oversaturated market.

Not so.

The market is an abyss over a bottomless pit.

On Amazon, only the top 500,000 ranked books are actually of any consequence.

The flood of low content books didn't change that.

You could pour 100,000 books a day into the Amazon abyss, and change nothing in the rank structure, because they don't sell.

AI drek will disappear like low content books did.

The search engine will get worse until AI drek is dungeoned, and over time, that 500k might extend out to a million.

But you can't call the market saturated.

There's books which sell once a week or better, and those which don't. The don't part doesn't matter however many are in it.

The aim for everyone is getting your book in that top 500k area. And keeping it there. And that isn't going to change.
For what it's worth, I released a romance last month. I hadn't even published under that pen name in 5 years. I just decided to test out reviving it since I didn't have any ideas for my other pen names. It got a surprisingly decent amount of page reads considering I did zero promotion and the name was inactive for so long. Zon getting flooded with AI content didn't seem to hurt me at all as far as visibility goes.
 

seppy123

I think AI is fine for breaking writer's block. Like if you're stuck and you ask it to write out some different scenarios just to see if anything gets you inspired to go in that direction. That's no different than bouncing ideas off other writer friends. If your friend makes a suggestion and you run with it it's still your work. That's why there are thousands of Billionaire romances and no one gets sued. Actually letting AI write the book is where the issues come into play. Publishing AI content is stealing from KU authors who put in the work. That money is in a pool. They are literally stealing from authors who put their heads down and produced.
 

baldricko

I think AI is fine for breaking writer's block. Like if you're stuck and you ask it to write out some different scenarios just to see if anything gets you inspired to go in that direction. That's no different than bouncing ideas off other writer friends. If your friend makes a suggestion and you run with it it's still your work. That's why there are thousands of Billionaire romances and no one gets sued. Actually letting AI write the book is where the issues come into play. Publishing AI content is stealing from KU authors who put in the work. That money is in a pool. They are literally stealing from authors who put their heads down and produced.

It doesn't write the book for you.

The following is relevant for the paid version, ChatGPT4.

It can't output more than around 14000 characters, may be a little less depending on the format you ask it to produce. It holds information to a point in a thread (called a 'Chat') but it can lose the plot or change the characters before you run out of tokens, which amounts to 25 prompts /turns. Once your prompt allowance is used up, you must wait around an hour before you are allowed to start again. Sometimes it goes into a loop and repeats sequences in a single prompt, which doesn't achieve you anything.

My conclusion is ChatGPT4, the paid version, is well worth it if you know how to use it productively. The prompts are an art form in themselves. It takes hours of practice. But, in the end its totally worth it. As others have said, for short copy such as a description its great!! Really good. Use it to summarize articles. Again, really useful!

If you want to use it to write a book, you are going to have to make some changes to fit with the AI demands. That in itself is difficult for most of us. Everything you get from it needs to be adapted to the page. So there's nothing super fast about any of this, outside of the speed it churns out decent content. It's YOU who is still going to be writing the book. You are the creative director here. But, ChatGPT4 is very useful to the writing process once you understand what it can and can't do.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2023, 09:21:27 PM by baldricko »
 

seppy123

I've never bothered with a paid version. I fooled around with the free one just to see what all they hype was about. It was interesting. I told it my idea for a romance and asked for a 3 Act structure outline. When I got the outline I asked it to write number one in Act One. It gave me something very generic, so I asked it for more detail and conversation and to write it like my pen name. It did give me something closer, but I like to think I'm not quite that flowery.

I've watched a ton of Youtube videos where they are saying that's how they get the book written for them, use the outline as the prompt and then have them write it one section at a time, going back over it to fix it when it goes off on a tangent. Like you said, it doesn't seem so fast to me. You could just write it yourself with all the fiddling you have to do with it. I do think some authors are using it to double their word count by using what they already wrote as a prompt and then having it finish the chapter. I say that because I read look inside features and see the same odd phrase used 3 or 4 times, like they edited too fast and missed it.

I would mainly use it for writer's block. I did put in a chapter of what I had written for an urban fantasy and had it write what comes next. it helped give me direction. I gave it enough that it knew what I wanted to happen. I just wasn't sure how to get from point A to point B and what it gave me got the ideas flowing. I don't need a paid version for that, though.
 

seppy123

Those of us old enough to remember the pre-Internet days remember the same empty promises.  It was supposed to bring people together, free people, make everything better.  Now, the world is divided as never before.  Rather than free us from oppressive governments, the Internet is used as a tool to suppress people, to exploit and divide them, to track them, to control and monitor them.


I remember those days.  I started using the internet in 1993.  No one was more enthusiastic about the internet's potential than me.  The truth about everything was out there somewhere, and now it had a way to get out in a widely available way.  Everything was now on the table for discussion; nothing was taboo, and may the best logical arguments win the day.  All the prison doors were now kicked open, all the intellectual chains broken, all the old gatekeepers kicked to the curb to lament their lost power.  It was going to be Enlightenment 2.0, or something to that effect.  We genuinely thought that disagreements were mostly caused by ignorance rather than malice or psychosis and that the internet would cure that ignorance and usher in a new era of fellowship.

Ah, how naive we all were.
I don't think disagreements are caused by ignorance, malice, or psychosis in most cases. They're caused by individuality. No one's brain thinks identically to anyone else's. If they did we'd be bots.
 

Post-Crisis D

Another lawsuit . . .

Source: Sarah Silverman Sues ChatGPT Creator for Copyright Infringement

Quote
"Sarah Silverman is suing OpenAI and Metaóthe creators of AI language models ChatGPT and LLaMA, respectivelyófor stealing information from her book The Bedwetter, according to a pair of lawsuits filed Friday in a U.S. District Court."

And, ooooh . . .

Quote
"Most damningly, both suits suggest that the mere existence of these AI models are illegal under the Copyright Act since they need to be fed with potentially copyrighted information in order to work as anticipated."
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

Post-Crisis D

Here's another AI tool for non-fiction articles that, according to the site, trains the AI using your own articles.

Quote
We train the AI on your own articles . . .

Quote
How do you train the AI for my website?

Our Google Search Console connector helps us detect and track your existing articles.

This means your AI never stops learning, as we progressively train your AI on detected articles.

Source: Reword.com/pricing
Mulder: "If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above."
The X-Files: "Blood"
 

Bill Hiatt

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Well, at least in that scenario, there's no copyright infringement issue. I could see that as a useful tool in some ways.


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PJ Post

Well, at least in that scenario, there's no copyright infringement issue. I could see that as a useful tool in some ways.

I'm pretty sure this app is only training style. So, all of the language and grammar and general underpinnings are still using the ChatGPT-style LLMs, which, of course, trained on all of the copyrighted stuff. As an aside, as far as I know, we can already train ChatGPT on our own work. While an app might be easier, I don't think it's necessary.