PART TWO: A Blogger Gets Paid Five Hundred A Word!
As promised, here it the other side of the coin. Ha ha! I can relate to both, but it's tough either way you look at it, right?
(If you haven't read part one, go here)
The flipside of this situation would be if a writer wants to use an AI concept and tweak it here and there to publish. In this case I think they should disclose the fact to the people paying money for the copy. I don’t know. I kind of feel like if you don’t disclose the fact, it’s deceptive somehow. Cheating. Just because it’s a computer generated program that gives you the concept doesn’t mean it’s free to claim. At least I don’t think so. Don’t they have a copyright on usage? Has anyone read the fine print? I mean if this AI writing is in development stages I would imagine there’s something in there that says this is not to be reproduced, used for other than personal use, not to be sold, redistributed, or something like that.
Developers probably released it to build the platform for something else. What’s that phrase? Creating a monster? I could be wrong, but if I were the developer, I could think of far greater gains to be made with AI technology than a 90 percentile hit for students and non writers looking to exploit the good stuff. The dictionary, terms, and historical facts, for a buck or a grade.
It’s the digital age version of Big Brother Watching, only now the unsuspecting freelance writer using the AI application is helping to create their future jailor. This is the author in me, scripting my next potential story here. This AI thing has me thinking that the programmers who released it to the public for development are setting up the successful users for a fall. Either by lawsuit—hey, it could happen, I read that some people are making a fortune and using the program to write How To Books about using it to better effect. Hard to fight that in court, right? My biggest concern over the fallout to come is the gone-to-rust talent of those bright writers who relied too heavily on a concept that will sit for years in limbo while the ethics and laws of our Country work to define AI as being fair and usable for all – or not. The ALL is important to note.
I didn’t get to use such a program when I went to school – says billions of people who still graduated with good Degrees without it.
I didn’t get any computer generated help to break into the writing market – says every writer who hasn’t used AI.
I didn’t know I was writing my freelance face off while others were pressing a button to generate the content. Says the Freelance writer who quit because they couldn’t write fast enough.
To my mind, Intelligence that is Artificial still counts as speech and is protected under the laws of our Constitution. The words (text) did not generate themselves out of thin air. The very dialogue of the AI is delivered off the backs of individuals who have opinionated them.
I hate to be a stick in the mud over this, but I do have to remind people that this is not the first time we’ve come across a situation like this. Currently they are building legal precedent and this is why there is great room for caution. Now, where there is legal precedence there could follow unfavorable legal decisions. What would those do to the full steam ahead band wagoneers of exploiting a free technology that had certain guidelines that shouldn’t have been crossed?
I shudder to think. For right now, I’m just putting this out there because I was looking at some Freelance work, and, well… this topic is everywhere. How it relates to my foray into the Freelance world? Mostly not at all because I didn’t even know that it existed until a few days ago. Now that I do, I understand why the pay in the writing world is so low and why people are leery of hiring without vetting the author even at such a small pay scale.
A tough situation and one I am going to put my romantic spin on.
Oh, don’t worry, this is going to be fun.
There I was going down the list of what was wrong with the listings I was finding (as they pertained to my situation and what I wanted to accomplish in the process) Scientific Engineering indeed, and I hit pay dirt of a different kind. It’s this I want to focus on for a minute. The AI debate I will think about and then write something that makes sense to me one day. Right now, this is what I want to discuss.
I have a desire to write something other than my books and my own blog at the moment, and I’m being hemmed in. By what though?
*Looks around before I whisper*
I think a Unicorn. I kid you not. I want to broaden my day with a spark of something different. A blog post geared toward something out of my element and the people that need me to write it for them want only the fish in their professional pond to paddle for them.
*Imma throwing down that ugly analogy to make a point. Watch closely dear reader. You don’t want to miss my Chupacabra’s head over the tip of the unicorn horn*
If a Company wants someone proficient in their field of expertise to write their blog for them great. They have caged the Unicorn and it will predictably traipse all over their pages and hopefully excite the audience The Company is looking to entertain and engage.
Now, if a Company wants to entertain the loyal clientele they have, bring in more prospects, and invigorate their troops at satellite offices that don’t want to write the copy, but want to stay connected through its online conversation and therefore be slightly removed from administrative head office communications? The Company needs to hire someone who is fearless talking about their products, process, and self, in a manner that invites debate. The ‘product talk’ covers the tangible environment, the process uncovers the mysteriously unknown, and the self-deprecating blogger is the stranger in the room that is tantalizing the quiet to come forth and speak up.
This approach would be so much better, wouldn’t it?
I mean, do you (The Company) want a person (blogger) to have an expert working knowledge of your business, or do you want a blogger to be given information perimeters that will make those knowledge tidbits interesting enough that your smarty’s in those satellite offices can chime in and expand on those fundamental basics directly engaging with the end users of your products?
As a blogger for someone else’s Company, I would look at the opportunity as being a mediator, a bridge, or a go between to bring to the stage the talent (your employees) and the audience (your clients) who are looking for it, together to converse. A host as opposed to an expert or teacher.
I love human nature and if I were to describe the humanism in this instance I would say, by being a host and not an on-the-fly expert, there would be no sense of threat to the employees.
To circle back to my previously butchered analogy of the Unicorn and the fish. I’m thinking of the Unicorn as the Company rolodex filled with all the expertise, the egos, the IDs and knowledge of what makes you tick as an entity. Now think of that fish you are looking for. The one that is a smaller Unicorn in that it has been given insight into your content, your Shtick, and delivering it to all the other big Unicorns in your company roster who don’t swim in the engaging writer’s pool as a rule.
*Looks right at you and grimaces*
I can tell you one thing. Those big non-swimming Unicorns are going to drown your writer no matter how well he/she swims. Your newly hired little Unicorn blogger trying to be the expert on the page you want them to be will be dead in the water on day one. It’s inevitable. Either by being shutout, or interrogated. I know this is seen as a rite-of-passage, but your clients who arrive to the site likely won’t be participating and you might lose the first chance you had to hook them into visiting again.
*Rubs hand together*
Imagine my Chupacabra arriving at the banks of your shores <-for the right pay-> and what happens? The non-threatened big Unicorns are compelled to impart their greater knowledge to help out the poor self deprecating writer who is mildly entertaining while trying to field difficult questions in comments.
*Stares right at you after the lightning bolt has struck my forehead*
Scratch hiring me to write a blog post. Maybe I should run your HR department. It’s all about the feels, right?
Actually, for me? It’s all about a smile.
As always, thanks for stopping by.
I can’t leave the post without a PS on the AI debate. I had a look around and a few import things to checkout on the topic are the amendments to The Communication Act of 1934, The satellite Transmissions decisions of 1962, and the laws that were amended to both of these items in 1996 by President Bill Clinton.
As for what is currently being highlighted to the public regarding the AI issue?
The precedence is this:
The case debates the legal right for Google to use copyrighted books in its training database in order to train its Google Book Search algorithm. https://towardsdatascience.com/the-most-important-supreme-court-decision-for-data-science-and-machine-learning-44cfc1c1bcaf
(I will say right now I’m giving what I read in the article a side-eye) because it clearly says: less than 4 of the Supreme Court Justices voted to review the case. These were copyrighted books people. Oh, and it also says:
Using copyrighted material in a dataset that is used to train a discriminative machine-learning algorithm (such as for search purposes) is perfectly legal.
That’s a fancy way of saying the machines are unbiased, unmanned and therefore totally non corruptible. BUT the writer in me is looking at the word ‘discriminative’. If I were an Attorney I’d be all over that piece of gold right there.
As of today, they have agreed to hear the case about the IA search algorithms. I have provided the link with info, but keep in mind. This is one cog in the wheel that is going to start to roll legally with copyright infringements and I can’t help but think that the breach is widespread given the tropes and themes that were inputted into Google’s AI algorithms from the digital database they built.
Digital content is intellectual property – both of which are solidly protected by Copyright standards. How much learning did the AI app delivering content for free to those that use it come from the Google algorithms database? Nuggets of information that included (story themes, tropes, phrases, names—even made up words within certain author brands) that were thrown out of the data because Google didn’t need it? Did anyone ask the question? Did Google sell the information that they weren’t going to use to build a different AI model?
Maybe we should be asking that.
I mean, I don’t want to point any fingers here, but it could be that we are being lead astray by an unapproved AI offshoot of what was a protected process until it wasn’t. Maybe, Google didn’t sell the unneeded information from its training database. It could have been gathered/taken/ripped off by one of those physically manned positions beside the ‘learning machine’ that doesn’t, you know, run without the man/woman plugging it in or hooking it up to a battery so it continued to run.
Thinks for a second.
Hey, what if that person got a hold of the information and launched it direct to public in order to expand the data? Any good techie who knows they’re going to get caught eventually, would have wanted to siphon off the gains made from the original dataset exclusion before they’d have to hand back the exact count. <- Creative writer in me is constantly at work. But, it could have happen.
*Waves at GOOGLE* Make sure you ask for the original count and any gains made beyond the certified original count.
*Deadpans at you* What? I have a secret writer decoder ring that lets me wave a GOOGLE any time I want. Don’t worry. They’re used to my prompts.