A.I. and I

Artificial Intelligence (while not yet self-aware) is here, now. Much ado is made of AI these days with the public emergence and access to a chat program called ChatGPT. I couldn’t resist “chatting” with it myself. 


  • Impressive
  • Scary
  • Exciting

As a writer, I was curious about its abilities, and I was also really tired, so I asked it to write a blog about AI (this is not it), which it did. It was fairly stilted and boring. Then I asked it to write the blog in the style of TKThorne.com. (Yes, that felt weird.) 

It rewrote the piece, and it was a bit more interesting, LOL.

Then I started looking at some of the collaborative art that has been done with AI, and I realized how exceptionally good some of it is. I began to get depressed about what the point of doing anything was when AI will soon do it so much better and faster. (I am not the first person, nor will I be the last, to think this.)

AI can already paint far better than I can. At some point, it will write stories better. It will sculpt better than any human artist, take better photographs, etc.

I had an existential meltdown. What is the point?  Why strive if AI will just do it better?

Deep into my melancholia, a thought gave voice.

“What is it?” I asked, irritated at being disturbed from my funk.

“Is that why you paint?” the voice said.


“Do you paint because you want to produce something better than Monet or Rembrandt?”

“Of course not. I just want to express myself.”

“And you write because you want to be better than Shakespeare?”

I snorted. “I see your point.”

“Do you? Well, in case you didn’t, you write because—?”

“Well, why do I write?”

An inner shrug from the voice, perhaps a little piqued that I turned the question back on it. “I don’t know, actually. You just must—?”

“Must what?” I demand.


“But what if I struggle and sweat while AI writes it all out in seconds?”

“What of it?”

“Nobody is going to want my books, that’s what of it!”

“So, [dripping with sarcasm] you are worried that you might not sell a million copies of anything with AI in the picture? Like you are selling a million copies now?”


The relentless voice [a little kinder]: “If another writer writes something awesome, does that lessen you?”

“No, I mean, well maybe I am a little jealous . . . for a couple of minutes.”

“And then?”

“I’m happy for them and grateful for having had the chance to read their work and learn from them. There is room for all creative voices.”

“But not for AI—?”

“I . . . guess it would have a right to a voice. I should learn from it?”

“Why not?”

“Yes…why not?”

Several very smart folks are worried about something called the “singularity” (a reference to the point at which a black hole forms and a cascade of effects takes place.) The singularity is a theoretical point after AI starts improving itself when it reaches superhuman intelligence it, and we become unable to control it.

What happens then?

No one is sure, but at that point it is called AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), and one of these scenarios is possible:

#1 AGI determines humans stand in the way of its goals and proceeds to wipe us out (ala Skynet of Terminator).

#2 AGI ignores humans and goes about whatever it wants to. (Until humans decide to try to pull the plug, in which case we have defined ourselves as “in the way” and back to #1.)

#3 AGI puts up with the trauma and panic from #1 or #2 and partners with humans to create a better world.

I have no idea. 

But I am very curious.

If AGI wipes out humanity, I won’t be worrying about competing with it. If it goes about whatever it wants to, ignoring us—well, who knows what it will “want” to do. It’s interests may or may not include art. And if AGI writes better than I do, I will keep creating, because it is part of my nature, and I’ll look forward to reading its blockbuster.

T.K. Thorne writes about what moves her, following the flight path of curiosity, reflection, and imagination.

About T. K. Thorne

T.K. is a retired police captain who writes books, which, like her blog, roam wherever her interest and imagination take her.
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15 Responses to A.I. and I

  1. MaryAnne Freeman says:

    T.K., thank you for these thought-provoking words! AI and AGI is a lot to think about and digest.

  2. T. K. Thorne says:

    Thanks for reading and taking time to comment, MaryAnne!

  3. otebear201 says:

    I love the dialogue, back and forth with yourself/AI. Ive had similar thoughts. In the end, I just choose to ignore AI, the fears of AI, all the social media stuff and continue to just carry on with what makes me happy.
    Not sure what else to do.

  4. Bek says:

    Your post gives me hope that we will survive. People may look back on us and scratch their heads wondering what our problem was with AI. We wink at the people before us who were convinced traveling speeds of more than 35 miles per hour would kill us.

    I imagine AGI will write stories to entertain and frighten us about our own far off future. The writers of the prophetical Star Trek have already created the adroid Data and his diabolical brother Thor. We may already have a better story than what AI will have done.

  5. T. K. Thorne says:

    Definitely vote for Data!

  6. T. K. Thorne says:

    Said in a nutshell!

  7. Laura Hunter says:

    This article is right on target. I taught about Al back in the 70s in freshmen comp classes. None of the kids believed it! I didn’t understand it then, and I’ m not sure I understand it now!

  8. T. K. Thorne says:

    Wow, Laura, you were ahead of your time! I can’t claim to “understand” it either. I don’t even understand how my TV works!

  9. Deborah Scott says:

    very well said….i create for me…

  10. Janice Sexton says:

    Do I understand AI, certainly not and that’s ok, but I will always prefer the human writings as they come from the heart….something AI will NEVER be able to take from you or any of us….you just continue doing what you do so very well!

  11. T. K. Thorne says:

    Thank you, Janice. 🙂

  12. T. K. Thorne says:

    I think we get caught up in the “being a professional writer” thing and forget the gifts writing gives us! Keep creating!

  13. Some weeks ago, I used Bard as an experiment, my first time trying AI, to give me a list of books published about Birmingham in the last 4 years. At first it looked impressive- such great titles. A clue something wasn’t right was most had the same year of publication. After some internet searching, I found only one was correct, possibly yours. The rest were completely false. I learned from subsequent research that AI platforms lie, they can get nasty and fuzzy, and more. Their lying is called hallucinating. Good grief!

  14. T. K. Thorne says:

    Yes, isn’t that weird and, well, spooky! I think it is because Bard’s AI (which is the same as ChatGPT) is based on what they call a LLM or Large Language Model. It’s not really “thinking” as we know it, but using probabilities about what word comes next based on ingesting a large amount of data (at this point limited to before 2021). So I guess it just can make up stuff that way. I wonder if our brains learn language in a similar way? No idea, but the mind has to put things together somehow. By the way, I am reading your excellent memoir (Unloose My Heart). Brava!

  15. You know a lot more about AI than I do. I am so glad you are reading “Unloose My Heart!” Thank you. I have read at least two of yours and learned a lot as well as enjoying them. 🙂

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