Craft & Culture Essays & Opinion Professor Wu's Rulebook

Writers should not fear the rise of AI

Creative writing, is something that no machine can replicate, writes George Saunders for Nothing in the Rulebook.
Photo by Alexander Sinn, available via Unsplash

Friends, Romans, and our soon-to-be machine overlords: creative writing. It’s an art form that’s been around since the dawn of time. From the earliest cave paintings to the latest bestselling novel, humans have been telling stories in one form or another for as long as we’ve been able to communicate. And yet, in this age of technological advancement, there are some who would have us believe that the art of creative writing is dead, replaced by cold, soulless language models like Chat GPT.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m as amazed as anyone by the incredible feats of machine learning that these language models are capable of. They can generate entire paragraphs of text that are virtually indistinguishable from something a human might write. But here’s the thing: they can only do this because they’re drawing on a vast database of existing writing. They can’t create something truly new, something that comes from the heart and soul of a human being.

That’s the magic of creative writing, and it’s something that no machine can replicate. When a writer sits down to create a story, they’re not just stringing together words and phrases according to some algorithm. They’re tapping into something deeper, something that’s uniquely human. They’re drawing on their own experiences, their own emotions, their own unique perspective on the world.

And that’s why creative writing will always be relevant, no matter how advanced our technology becomes. Because it’s not just about conveying information or entertaining an audience; it’s about connecting with people on a deeper level. It’s about sharing something of ourselves with the world, and inviting others to do the same.

So let the language models churn out their endless streams of text. Let them dazzle us with their seemingly infinite knowledge and predictive powers. But let us never forget the power of the human voice, the voice that speaks to us in a way that no machine ever could. Let us cherish and celebrate the art of creative writing, and the unique voices of the true artists and writers who bring it to life.

About the author of this post

George Saunders (no, not that one) is a UK-based reader and writer, interested in Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and the future of creative arts. You can contact him via email at

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