Perhaps I am alone in this, but reading living authors like Yann Martel, Fredrick Backman, Alexander McCall Smith; seeing plays by living authors like David Mamet, Tony Kushner, ; watching things that need good writers, like “The Good Place”, “White Lotus”, “Schitt’s Creek”; or movies that reveal something so deeply human, so deeply spiritual, by living authors, like Roberto Benini, Jane Campion, Spike Lee, Key and Peele, Lin-Manuel Miranda; when my whole worldview is rocked by living authors like Don Miguel Ruiz, Richard Rohr, (only one year passed on- Thich Nhat Hanh); or you listen to lyrics by living writers like Joni Mitchel, Alanis Morrisette, Elton John, Leonard Cohen, Beyonce, Patty Griffin, Tori Amos, Dave Matthews….
Oh, I could go on and on and if I had to include any writers who have already gone to that great writer’s conference or jam session in the sky, I would never, never stop — so I guess what I am saying is. Let’s not be silly folks. There is not a chance in the world that AI will replace even the smallest little humans here, let alone the Greats.
Oh, yes, AI is already replacing the people who used to respond to your complaints about your health insurance, or to your request for a response from your local politician, or hacks who churn out fodder to advertise yet something else none of us need but think we do, but is that really so bad? I mean, even those people deserve a chance to find something valuable and meaningful to do with their lives.
So, bring it on, AI. We’ve got your number, which is still 01010101…. You can find me rereading “The Grapes of Wrath” or rewatching “Life is Beautiful” or listening to a Sondheim’s greatest hits CD. And I just finished the latest Backman and saw a great production of “Much Ado About Nothing, and you know what — AI, you are MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING! Nope, no computer in the world will ever, ever, write like even my struggling students can write when it comes from a beating heart, a head full of dreams and things that must be said, and a soul that lives and breathes as only human souls have ever lived. Want to decrease your fears about AI? Grab a good book, go for a walk and conversation with a friend, watch something that makes you think or question or feel, feel, feel, or listen to something that soars and descends, rises and falls, and makes you feel alive. Because “Being Alive” (allusion to Sondheim intentional) will always be a million times more creative, more real, and more eternal, than anything, anything else.
© Jane Tawel, 2023