This article is written by Khimi Thapa, a content writer and former journalist, pursuing a Diploma in Content Marketing from Skill Arbitrage. The article highlights the potential of AI in the field of writing and what the future holds for writers in this changing landscape.

This article has been edited and published by Shashwat Kaushik.


There are no two ways that writers form an important part of society. In the world of fiction, they push the boundaries of imagination and create believable as well as unbelievable worlds. In the world of journalism, the written word can influence public perceptions and inspire societal changes. In the world of advertising and digital marketing, writers create compelling narratives and ad campaigns that often make brands unforgettable for decades.  In the film industry, writers come up with characters that become so iconic that they become part of the cultural consciousness of people across the world. This is why writers in various industries are often looked at with a lot of reverence. However, in the wake of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots such as ChatGPT, Bard, Bing and Jasper, there have been debates revolving around the potential of AI to replace writers. Here we take a look at the evolution of AI, how it works, what AI can write and whether it will replace writers.

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The use of AI for writing isn’t new 

While ChatGPT and other tools became the buzzword in late 2022, it would be naive to think that AI was used  for writing for the first time. The history of AI can be traced back to 1971, when an MIT student created an interactive spelling checker programme and by the late 1970s, the spell check feature was made available on all mainframe computers. This is not it. Recently, the author of a prize-winning novel about AI admitted to writing parts of the book using ChatGPT. It is surprising to learn that in 1984, a book was entirely written by a computer programme. The Policeman’s Beard is Half Constructed was a book of prose and poetry that was written using a computer programme and was given credit for authorship. 

How does AI work

To understand how AI works, we need to understand what generative AI and large language models are. Generative AI is an umbrella term for all artificial intelligence models that have the capability to generate content. This means text generation is just one aspect of it. Generative AI includes the generation of code, images, video and audio. On the other hand, large language models such as ChatGPT, Bard and Jasper are large language models, a type of generative AI, that are trained to produce text. 

Large language models are trained on a huge amount of datasets. These datasets and their quality affect the language model’s performance. AI tools are programmes that are trained on vast datasets to:  

  • Interpret human language
  • Structure information into patterns
  • Convert patterns into readable text 

What can AI do

When it comes to evaluating the potential of AI in writing, it would not be wrong to say that the field is quite vast. With the help of AI, writers can focus more on the cerebral aspects of writing than the mundane aspects. However, first, we need to understand what AI is capable of doing as far as writing is concerned. 

AI can be used for: 

  • Generating blog ideas 
  • Creating content calendar 
  • Editing or improving existing  content 
  • Drafting emails 
  • Creating promotional emails 
  • Creating social media posts 
  • Writing online for books 
  • Generating interview questions 
  • Translating documents in multiple languages

Note: The quality and capabilities of AI depend a lot on the software you are using. The reason is that different software is trained on different datasets.

Why writers use AI 

In today’s technologically advanced and  fast-paced world, it’s important to keep pace with modern working processes. This is why many writers use AI to improve their creative process, improve efficiency, and get done faster so that they can spend more time exploring new opportunities. Here are some reasons why writers use AI: 

  • Not getting stuck with writing: Writers, novice and experienced, struggle to take forward an idea or paragraph. In such a scenario, AI can be of great help. By generating thought-provoking writing prompts, giving writers better words or helping writers understand the basics of a concept, AI can ignite and stimulate imagination. They can provide writers with some groundwork that they can transform into a compelling and full-fledged concept. 
  • Quick research: One of the best things about AI is that it helps writers find relevant information about their topic in one place. This means grasping the basics of a subject on AI platforms can be a real time-saviour.  
  • Outline: By creating an outline for a writing project, AI allows writers to get on with the meatier part of the project, which is writing.

Why writers fear AI

  • Unemployment: One of the biggest fears that writers have is unemployment. They not only fear that AI will replace them but they also worry that they will be replaced by people who will be valued for their knowledge of AI tools rather than writing skills. 
  • Domain-specific expertise: One of the key things that make writers unique is the specialised knowledge or expertise that they have gained over the years on a specific subject. Writers fear that the specific insights and knowledge that they bring to their work may get sidelined or will be replaced by on-demand insights generated by AI.

Pros and cons of using AI in writing

Before we can discuss whether AI can replace writers, it’s important to understand the benefits that AI brings to writing and when it cannot be relied upon. 


Improved productivity 

Writing an outline for a 500-word article may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. However, with AI, the same can be done in a few minutes. This means writers can produce more content that is trending and relevant without losing out on time. With the help of AI, they can reproduce the same content for different platforms while ensuring that its tonality aligns with different audiences. 

Better quality of writing

Often, writers and editors work in cohorts to produce high-quality write-ups. However, AI tools can proofread the text, detect errors and even suggest better sentences, depending on the prompt. This real-time feedback turns writers into editors and thereby ensures that the final output meets certain standards of quality. This can be a real game-changer for non-native speakers.  

Optimise for SEO

It’s a no-brainer that in today’s digital landscape, optimising the article for SEO can help improve its visibility and reach a larger audience. Producing high-quality content is the key to doing that. As per Google, their focus is on the quality of content, rather than how content is produced. AI can not only help writers develop content ideas based on trending topics, keywords and audience preferences; it can also write SEO-friendly meta descriptions. It also improves the readability of content by aligning with the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test and the Flesch Reading Ease scores. AI tools can also offer deep insights into what kind of content is resonating with the audience and thus, writers or the writing team have data-driven feedback as to what approach to take. 


Lack of human touch

It is the randomness of human creativity and thought that makes it so unique. For instance, many of Shakespeare’s phrases that we still use today — “wear my heart on my sleeve” and “break the ice”— have nothing to do with their literal meaning. Rather, these and many other phrases are products of human minds’ ability to draw connections between unrelated things. As the AI is trained on certain data sets, expecting a human level of creativity is not possible. Jokes, sarcasm and humour are still inimitable human traits, as they are drawn from cultural references and linguistic nuances, which in themselves are quite unique. 

AI hallucinations

Many AI tools are in their nascent stages and this means that everything they come up with needs to be fact-checked. The reason is that AI tools often come up with answers to the prompt. They may read like facts, but they are not. For example, according to a news report, a young lawyer lost his job after he used an AI tool in legal documents. The tool created fake scenarios to support a legal motion. This makes fact-checking an important step in the writing process. 

AI cannot produce anything new

While AI has a huge potential to do a lot of tasks, generating something absolutely new is not one of them. AI can mimic writers, but it cannot entirely produce something that is novel. While AI works on patterns that are fed into its system, human creativity remains unshackled by such limitations.  

Will AI replace human writers

In the manufacturing industry, often AI-powered robots work  along with human workers. They act as an extra set of hands. This can be true for the writing industry, where AI will not replace writers entirely but facilitate them to write better. AI tools will act like co-writers that play a supportive role.  Here are some ways writers can leverage AI to get the most out of AI tools: 

  • Learn how to write a good prompt: Ingredients and steps followed to cook play an important role in deciding how a dish will turn out. Similarly, AI-generated text is as good as the prompts writers provide the AI tools. Simple and uncomplicated instruction, along with adequate context, can help AI give writers the answers that they are looking for. 
  • Do not overwhelm AI: Humans are quite adept at multitasking. For instance,  writers can write an article, draft an email or promote their work on social media without losing their train of thought. However, AI is not designed to multitask. With too many prompts, AI can get confused and produce content that may not be of any use.

This duality raises questions about the nature of creativity, the boundaries of human understanding, and the role of machines in our lives. Can an algorithm ever truly replicate the unique touch of a human hand, the spark of an original idea, or the beauty of a work of art? Can a pen compete with the speed, accuracy, and scale of a computer programme?

The answer is not a simple one. The pen and the algorithm each have their own strengths and limitations. The pen excels at capturing the intangible, the personal, and the ephemeral. It allows for freedom of expression, experimentation, and the exploration of new possibilities. The algorithm, on the other hand, excels at processing large quantities of data, identifying patterns, and making predictions. It can automate tasks, provide insights, and assist with problem-solving.

The real challenge is not to pit the pen against the algorithm, but to explore the potential of their coexistence. By combining the strengths of human creativity with the capabilities of artificial intelligence, we can create something truly extraordinary. The pen can serve as a guide, providing the initial spark of inspiration, while the algorithm can refine, enhance, and amplify the creative process.

Together, the pen and the algorithm can challenge our assumptions about what is possible, break down creative barriers, and open up new avenues for self-expression and problem-solving. As we move forward, it is important to embrace the unique contributions of both the human mind and the machine, fostering a harmonious partnership that leverages the best of both worlds. 


Instead of looking at AI as a competition, writers must see it as a collaboration between humans and AI, where the latter enables humans to focus on higher-level tasks. AI is a tool that can enhance productivity, but in itself, it is not adequate to function on its own or completely replace human involvement.



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