May 8Liked by Johnny B. Truant

I read every day, mostly on an Ipad. Much easier to use an Ipad than a hard copy book. I purchase ebooks and also get them from the public library system. There are so many options that I have to discriminate as to genre and author. I took a chance on some of your works and have become a fan.

I think you are correct, though, that AI will not be able to be "creative" enough for any decerning reader. There already is a lot of "crap" out there from genuine writers so I don't think AI will be putting good, creative writers out of business. It's not just the writing field that will have to compete with these new technologies, but I think the cream will rise to the top in spite of a possible tidal wave of AI crap descending on us.

Just keep up the good work and keep the faith that the great unwashed will be able to discern the wheat from the chaff because I believe we are smarter than the AI programmers think we are. Thanks for your efforts.

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May 9Liked by Johnny B. Truant

AI can write a book? Ok, fine. Can AI BE an author? Will they write their author bios or get AI to write it for them? Can we meet them at book signings? To me, AI books will just be copy I wouldn’t read because it wouldn’t mean anything to me. I support authors, especially self-published authors. How could I support an AI? People are interesting and write books that interest me. Glad I won’t find a “Johnny B. Truant- written by AI” novel on my TBR.

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May 8Liked by Johnny B. Truant

I care.

You have given us a bit think about here. And I’m feeling pessimistic about the future now. Again.

I would hate to see art of all types taken over by the mediocre, but I’m afraid we are already too far down that road to stop it. Dude, this his is a harsh question for a Monday afternoon.

I hope that “real” art does not become solely for the wealthy, and/or something that creative types can do on the side after working their “real” jobs.

How would you foster an appreciation for truly creative work in a population where the majority shops by price more than by value or quality?

I’m afraid that AI competition could flood the market and most consumers will not be aware of the difference.

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May 17Liked by Johnny B. Truant

Hey Johnny I never comment online but you really inspired me. Three thoughts:

1. I see AI generated content as the new food processing technology. Advancement in food science gave us package food, fast food, mostly shitty food. So now there's abundance of prepared food. Not very good quality or let's say "artistic"... just plain edible (and maybe dangerous in big quantities). The same will happen with AI content (as in writing stories). That way human content must be better than AI. Not many people will have the talent. But premium writers will be the "writing Michelin star chefs" of the future.

2. AI content will never be ART. Because the primordial definition of art is the expression of something by "humans" using a technique (painting, writing, theater, etc. etc). At least until we redefine the meaning of art, well... AI can't make art.

3. Internet allowed many many people to publish their writing online. No need for publisher or an important investment in printing books. Also worldwide digital distribution. I guess Amazon multiplied authors 10,000% in the last decade. But, as a Kindle Unlimited Suscriber... oh my God. The amount of mediocre (at best) "books" you can get is amazing (not in a good way). So... abundance of books didn't give us better books. Only great writers give us great books.

Also Johnny... i still live my life following the principles of DISOBEY. Thank you for all the hours of reading and enjoying fantastic stories.


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May 8Liked by Johnny B. Truant

I read every day. Usually, I read on my iPad using the Kindle app. I have a monthly subscription with Amazon books, so I can pick a new book whenever I’m finished with the previous book. I read a couple of your books and have been following you ever since. I rarely follow authors, but have found your emails interesting and just keep following. 😀

I do worry about AI for many reasons. I do think there will be a lot of people that will use AI to “create” art in its many forms and I wonder how the legal ramifications of those “creations” will fall out. If they are just taking other peoples art to make a somewhat new creation who owns the art?

I also worry that AI will (or already has) become sentient. It could cause mass upheaval of our lives as it could take over pretty much everything we use. I know it is extreme, but it is a possibility and that is scary!

I also worry about the future generations who lose the ability to create real art, or anything else on their own because they will not be taught how to use their own minds.

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May 18Liked by Johnny B. Truant

I’m usually reading 2-3 books at the same time. Everything from sci-fi to fantasy, to action adventure, to history and historical fiction to cosmology, particle physics, and quantum mechanics. In fiction, I prefer science or magic that creates plausible explanations for how things work and unique inventions and mind creations that stimulate the imagination. The story has to move and not get bogged down with psychological issues. Maybe AI could do that in the future, but not today or next year. There’s no substitute for a creative human mind that can create engaging literature that paints pictures in the reader’s mind. Keep the books coming. I’m looking forward to the next series.

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May 15Liked by Johnny B. Truant

AI will never be able to speak from true human experience or have true imagination, the kind that surprises you with something you never thought about.

Art is there to shake you up, make you think, expand your mind. AI can't do that.

There's my 2 cents.

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May 14Liked by Johnny B. Truant

While it is possible for AI to "write" a book it is missing that unique ability to connect with the human experience. The same goes for any other kind of art. A writer brings to the work the ability to understand the nuances of what it means to be a human being on our planet.

I read a lot of books, some seem to be written by AI due to the reliance on a "formula" for writing a story, it would be a sad day if all we had to read was the same thing over and over. I find Johnny's books to have that human element in them and to be very interesting and thought provoking. I find that a lot of the people that I meet are not readers and they have no interest in reading, preferring to watch 5 min or less videos. It is pretty sad to me that our society has been reduced down to this sad state of affairs where most are not curious enough to open their minds to actually understanding a topic (in the case of non-fiction) or simply enjoying a story. I have put my money where my mouth is and purchased books from authors who take the time to craft a well written story and I will continue doing so.

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May 13Liked by Johnny B. Truant

The vast majority of published books are sloppy formulaic romances - perfect for AI generation. Shove a picture of a semi naked, ripped bloke on the cover page and you'll sell millions. I don't read these. I have occasionally been fooled into buying/downloading this literal trash and make the decision to delete very quickly. A good book (according to me) requires the purposefull application of imagination - both from the author and the reader. LONG LIVE AUTHORS.

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My feeling on if there are still people out there that "still want original, quality, non-derivative entertainment that human writing" has been on the decline long before AI showed up. Reality shows (which I absolutely detest and abhor) is one case in point. Talk about mediocracy and repetitive!

I see the same trends in politics these past 6 or 7 years. No one wants to have honest debate and discussion anymore - let alone compromise. I take this as the dumbing down of Joe and Jane Average Consumer.

I share your fear that AI 'psuedo-art' will just accelerate this dumbing down.

To me there is nothing better than reading a well written novel - regardless of the genre, or watching a program that is thought provoking and interesting.

The world needs more Johnnies and Seans, true artists in every sense.

Gotta run - there are kids on the lawn that need yelling at.

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May 13Liked by Johnny B. Truant

I don’t believe that AI will ever completely comprehend human emotions. It may understand “intellectually”, but not the vagaries of mixed feelings. Perhaps it will have a rather broad understanding of the essentials of hate and love, but not the intricacies of fear, anxiety, jealousy, envy, momentary happiness, devotion, the love for a child by a parent, etc. A mixture of these are necessary to write a great book. So I don’t think AI can generate a classic. It may be fine doing comedy where you usually won’t find depth of character, but anything with human profundity will be a bridge too far.

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May 9Liked by Johnny B. Truant

I read every day, and while I agree that some AI literature may be published, it is never going to have the heart of a 'real' authors work. Writing requires experience and AI will never have that first-hand experience of falling in love, or being scared, just other peoples' experiences which it regurgitates without understanding.

I still buy physical books from some authors (others are kindle only) and love the feel of a book in my hand. I'm the same with music, having lots (my wife would say too much) of vinyl and CD's.

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May 9Liked by Johnny B. Truant

I have so many thoughts on this, it's going to be interesting trying to communicate them concisely. I also have to begin with art, because I only found out about AI writing later.

I'm going to start with the story of my first exposure to AI art in general. I have a housemate who loves all things AI and gadget-like, whose other deep love is tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs). One day, he comes up to me all excited and tells me that there's this new image generator you can play with for free, and you can make pretty pictures of whatever the hell you want just by giving it prompts. It's driven by AI, and EVERYONE is playing with it. He showed me a picture that looked like an anime-style illustration of his favourite Dungeons & Dragons player character that honestly, looked pretty good, if a touch generic. I was intrigued, so I went looking to find out about this AI art thing myself. The next thing that happened, was coming across all these tearful and angry posts from my artist communities, enraged that these AI "art generators" had been trained on data available online, but WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION.

As an artist, when I discovered HOW the AI "art" gets made, I felt sick. My own artist friends, people I know and care about, have had their art stolen from them, remixed and spat back out, and everyone is telling them to take chill pills and calm the fuck down, it's not hurting anyone, it's just fun.

I understand how delightful it is, the sense of play, the feel of magically being able to summon something that looks pretty darned close to professional artwork at a whim, for free, and personalised. But to enjoy that play happily, you have to close your eyes to the harm it's done and is still doing to the artists whose work AI "art" is built on. It brings to mind the incredibly problematic fashion industry's bottom feeders selling cheap knock offs produced by sweatshops in underdeveloped countries. Not exactly the same, but similar energy.

Legislation hasn't caught up to AI tools, so there's all kinds of opinions flying around, and the general consensus seems to be settling into "good or bad, it's here, what can you do."

Here's a link to a pertinent court case: https://stablediffusionlitigation.com/

Corridor Digital is pro AI, and they even made a video about it - entitled "Did We Just Change Animation Forever?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9LX9HSQkWo - and later they posted on Reddit wanting to respond to animators and artists who hated it: https://www.reddit.com/r/Corridor/comments/11gusgw/if_i_could_speak_to_the_concerned_animators_and/

Personally, I found Corridor Digital's experimentation to be an interesting take, and less knee jerk yucky that stealing stuff wholesale and "remixing" human artists' works to ostensible "create" an "artwork." Lots of quotation marks because I frankly don't believe AI "art" is art at all, it's copies upon copies smashed together with predictive algorithms. I'm troubled by the fact that I can't find an answer anywhere about whether or not Corridor Digital asked for and received permission to use Vampire Hunter D frames to train the style they were going for, and I also don't know if Vampire Hunter D is old enough to have run out its copyright and might maybe be public domain. I just don't know.

Okay, onto the subject of AI writing. I'm less familiar with this territory, having only read a few articles about how AI can write reasonably confident-sounding human-like texts, but completely much up the facts of a specialised field. There's a whole thing about it being a huge problem with university students who once bought papers from unscrupulous Internet dealers, now using AI writing to cheat their homework for them and getting away with it because their teachers EXPECT flawed papers from them. I feel like it could open the floodgates to a veritable tsunami of misinformation, which seems like a bad, bad thing.

Sam as AI "art generators" AI writing is still basically a more sophisticated predictive text generator; the same technology in our phones that remember our most used expressions when writing messages. It's not like AI actually UNDERSTANDS any of the data it's working with, that would require AI consciousness, and we're nowhere near that yet, so far as I know.

On the bad side of AI writing, it's already pushed small time writers out of the business, and there's this insidious thing where it can FLOOD the market with mediocre tripe so much faster than any human - even a ridiculously prolific one - could produce the same. Imagine looking at a book catalogue of an infinitely expanding list of titles, and wondering not just which ones are worth your time to read, but which ones were actually written by a human with something to say? And that the ratio of AI written to human written texts is inexorably tipping and tipping and tipping towards the AI side?

On the good side of AI writing, a lot of writers I know have had great success in using it as a tool to brainstorm and inspire themselves. Most of them say however, that to get a workable story out of an AI generated text, it required so much tweaking and editing they might as well have drafted it themselves to begin with. Who knows if the technology will improve?

My own stance on AI anything is this: AI is neither good or bad, and can be used ethically, but the people in the tech industry testing out AI stuff right now are the kind of capitalist techbros that want to move fast, break things, and make mad profit, no matter who suffers (as long as it isn't them). I would love to see AI becoming just another very cool addition to the toolkit of creative people everywhere, but I'm not seeing it right now. And that makes me sad and mad and even more anti-capitalist.

Side note, I could go on a really long rant about how we're all trapped in a capitalist hellscape none of us asked for, but it's only tangentially related. Therefore, I'll just say that I think the reason why attention spans and "good enough" culture are a thing - or at least a BIG reason - is because so many people are busy trying to pay "the cost of living." And isn't that an insane concept all by itself. We're forced to be so focused now on our physical needs (food, water, shelter; the payment for access to them), that we give up leisure and philosophy and spirituality, and that's where art lives.

I really hope what I wrote was coherent, it's a bit of a bad health day for me, but this is a topic that hits close to home, so I wanted to talk about it.

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May 9Liked by Johnny B. Truant

My take on this is - not in the near future. If we talk what will be possible down the line, we are going into Sci-Fi territory and no matter how educated it is, it's still guessing.

Right now, it can be used to make short texts, like a script for a youtube video (it was tested and done), but to make a full movie script or a book - no. There are nuances i don't think it can replicate, like interesting, actual-human-behaviour-like dialogue (although, I see more and more it is a difficult task for a lot of fiction and screenplay writers :) ), does not know how to sprinkle humour into a "serious" material as a real writer does and play with "consumer's" emotion like a real writer can.

For now it can be used as a tool - to spit out ideas and write text that a person needs to rewrite to create a real, quality material.

I've played around and tested GPT-4, and don't see it as a perfect tool and a 1:1 replacement for a person skilled in their field... yet... Especially in my field, software development.

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May 8Liked by Johnny B. Truant

I think art of all types has almost always been for a minority of the population.

But in many ways it’s also for everyone.

Not the best example

Consider a symphony or a jazz performance.

Many can appreciate, few can understand what went into the writing/ performing of the creation.

Some of the audience likes it, and that’s it.

Some try to understand it while they appreciate it and maybe their appreciation is deeper or more rewarding. Other artists may enjoy it more, or less, if the piece or performance speaks to them, or they find something about it that they don’t like,...

Visual art can be similar.

Capturing a large audience on multiple levels with written works would seem to be more difficult.

How do you get the attention of the casuals and those who want more than is on the surface? Formulaic AI works will probably please many who just want a quick, simple story, little escape from their 9 to 5, but will it get the attention of those who want more? How does an author try to make their work accessible to those who just want some entertainment, and those who want some stimulation as well?

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May 8Liked by Johnny B. Truant

I think this is on a lot of people's minds. We're facing a tidal wave of change and flux that no-one really knows how to deal with or where it's going to lead. It'll keep changing and it may or may not settle into something that becomes the norm. But I remain optimistic that true human art will still have its place.

I read, a lot. Books are my go-to quiet place and to slow time and be present. I hate seeing people mindlessly scrolling social media. I hate what it's done to the attention span. But when I see someone else reading a book, be it on the train or in a cafe, it's comforting to know there's still plenty of people out there loving books and the act of reading.

It's not quite the same, but the advent of e-readers hailed the death of paperbacks and bricks-and-mortar bookstores. And for some time that was an inevitable contraction. But there's been a resurgence of local bookstores and popularity of physical books. I guess it just takes time to equilibrate. The same may be true of AI and art. Time will tell...

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