I finally won something, or rather, I had the fantastic luck of being selected for the Best Small Fictions anthology 2023. While this is a great honour, it doesn’t come with a lot of economic benefits attached.
Just as this happened, the writers of TV and movie script were on strike. The profit of production companies have increased many-fold, and the writers who were the foundation of this success, have seen very little of that profit trickle down.
At the same time, these writers see the lack of rights to the scripts they’ve produced as a looming threat. AI content mills are able to produce text based on content that is “out there” where copyright isn’t clearly established.
Even niche – and indie-writers discuss the impact of AI on the creative process, some even wondering if there is any point in writing at all. As someone whose income from writing is a small percentage of my total income, maybe I shouldn’t weigh in at all. But here it goes:
Creativity and creative writing /storytelling are fundamental aspects of being human and of staying human. The introduction of AI should teach us three things:
- Our creative production has value, even monetary value, if AI extracts its content from it for monetary gain. This means copyright law needs to move quickly to reestablish the connection between the originators of that content and the money being made through use of AI “retouching it.”
- AI extrapolates repetitive structures and replicates what has been said before. This should be a rallying cry for creatives to break moulds, reinvent structure and create text that makes us discover something new, unexpected.
- We need to value the small presses, the independent, wild content they bring to the world much more. These have been pushing boundaries and giving new forms of storytelling a platform. Best Small Fictions is part of this landscape, and I am proud to be part of this publication and of the AI “resistance.”