The artificial intelligence sector is booming at the moment, and many individuals are interested in a job related to it. But working in this field requires specific skills, whether in computing, statistics or writing. That’s right, the major AI companies are looking for writers to perfect the editorial capabilities of their software.
This interest in writers, poets, playwrights and other literary specialists is reflected in several job offers recently posted online by artificial intelligence companies, including Scale AI and Appen.
San Francisco-based startup Scale AI has been actively recruiting creative writers fluent in English, Japanese and Hindi since May. The firm is particularly interested in talent with a master’s degree or doctorate, in order to train AI models to become “better writers.” The company offers an hourly wage of between US$25 (about RM117) and US$50 (RM235), depending on the profile and professional experience of the individual.
Until recently, the Australian company Appen was looking to hire an expert in creative writing. They were looking for someone with a passion for “storytelling, poetry and/or prose,” who would be able to write and edit short stories, novels, screenplays and poems. The ad also states that a very good level of English is required to carry out the tasks described.
Perfecting the language skills of AI
But an Appen spokesperson told the Rest of the World website that the firm needs writers fluent in other languages. “Creative writers have a unique expertise that allows us to develop high-quality training data for creative AI generation like poetry, song lyrics and narrative writing,” he stressed.
In fact bringing writing specialists on board has become of the utmost importance in the sector for refining generative AI software. While these technologies are capable of writing a text in a matter of seconds, their output is fairly basic. They rely on a simple lexicon and rudimentary turns of phrase. While the texts do not contain errors of grammar or syntax, they tend not to be very complex, which means they are easily identified by AI detection tools.
This lack of sophistication means that AI systems are incapable of creating novels, short stories, poems or plays that could rival those of the greatest names in world literature. In fact, British and Canadian researchers found that ChatGPT is unable to imitate the style of American poet Walt Whitman, even when fed 17 of his texts beforehand. Artificial intelligence software has an even harder time creating complex writings from scratch in languages other than English, such as haiku and waka, two Japanese forms of poetry.
This interest in the written word from artificial intelligence companies comes at a time when the sector finds itself in a pivotal moment. Some 20 authors, including George R.R. Martin, the creator of the “Game of Thrones” saga, filed a complaint in mid-September against Californian start-up OpenAI for using their works, in defiance of intellectual property legislation, to train its language models. They believe that these algorithms jeopardise their ability to support themselves, as they allow anyone to generate texts for which they would normally have to pay a writer.
This complaint follows another lawsuit launched in July against OpenAI and Meta, the respective operators of ChatGPT and LLaMA, by three American authors. The trio includes actress Sarah Silverman and novelists Richard Kadrey and Christopher Golden. They, too, believe that their writings have been used to train algorithms, without their prior authorisation.
While the outcome of these lawsuits is still uncertain, they demonstrate a desire on the part of creative professionals to thwart unfair competition from generative artificial intelligence software. If successful, they could create precedents that result in the creation of safeguards to protect the field of writing from being unjustly exploited by AI. At least, until such time as the technology manages to wield its pen as well as we do.
– AFP Relaxnews