When Will the Robot Overlords Replace Us?

by | Aug 22, 2022 | Articles | 0 comments

I’ve been writing about machine learning and artificial intelligence quite a bit lately for work. Evidently, you can now use AI to organize all your files, create marketing and advertising, and perform repetitive accounting tasks.

Oh, by the way: you can also use it to create “sales bots,” “customer service bots,” and, of course, “content bots.”

In other words, companies now look to save money by using AI for sales, customer service, marketing, advertising…in short, all the “service” jobs that keep the good ol’ USA economy going.


The Blog Bot

Before you panic, don’t worry: the blog you’re reading right now will NEVER be written by a robot, a computer, or any other dystopian high-tech alternative. For better or worse, this old-school writer will continue to crank out free blog posts week in and week out, and no AI blogger robot will get its grubby little metal hands on it. 

If I’m starting to sound paranoid to you, let me assure you, I’m not. I got an ad, on my own Instagram feed, for some product or app that creates blog copy—using artificial intelligence! Why hire another pesky, high-maintenance, coffee-swilling writer when you can just have a bot do it all for you? No more paychecks for those little snobs.


Editing for Dummies 

Whilst contemplating the dystopian future for literature already on the horizon, I also got into using one of the worst technologies I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter: Grammarly, a self-described “cloud-based typing assistant.” (And here I’m reminded of Robin Williams imitating Truman Capote: “That’s not writing, it’s just typing.”) 

One of my wonderful clients now has all writers run their “content” through Grammarly. So I’m faced with the task of editing a very poor editor, one which would no doubt object to my use of the word “very.” I’m not kidding: about 40% of Grammarly’s “corrections” are wrong, at least in my experience. Although some suggestions tighten text slightly, overall it’s a massive time suck.

There’s a weird trend in modern writing that makes it harder and harder for educated, highly-experienced writers to do our jobs. Part of it is the lack of attention span brought on by technology; the other is the strange notion that numerous parts of speech should no longer be used at all. Here are a few aspects of said trend:

1) Adverbs are bad. All of them. Never use an adverb.

2) Adjectives are almost as bad as adverbs. Use only if you have a gun to your head. Elmore Leonard said so.

3) “Passive voice” is unacceptable. Therefore, the words “is,” “was,” “are,” and “were” must all be eradicated from your writing.

You might be surprised to learn that I object to this horseshit. Though who knows? Maybe Charles Dickens should have had an editor revise “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Get some action verbs in there! Bash, crunch, or crash those times! I’ve got it: “The times crashed like waves upon the shores of consciousness.”

I suppose it reads like the cranky old guy when I write this sort of thing. I get it. But if your writing job gets eliminated in favor of a robot next week, or next month, don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Why Trigger Warnings are Bad for Everybody

Recently I almost got into a Twitter skirmish about trigger warnings, or TWs, as they say in the trade. One of my followers asked the Twitterverse their opinion on them, and I gave mine. In essence, I said I don’t believe in them. While trigger warnings originally...

Putting Yourself Out There

I see a lot of social media posts these days about "authenticity." The idea is that clients and customers, and potential clients and customers, really appreciate your authenticity—mainly because so many fake people have tried to sell them something they didn't want to...

Five Ways You Can Help With a Local Book Launch Event

This week I want to write a bit more about my fourth novel, Whizzers. It’s my current Work-In-Progress, and I plan to have it finished this year in order to launch it in 2019. One of the few luxuries of being an independent author is that I haven’t set a firm...

Writers Kickin’ It Old-School

Today was one of those days when I thought I might have to start kickin' it old-school. Not even halfway through the afternoon, my brand new modem/router went on the fritz. Suddenly, I couldn't work. My day was already well-planned out, with social media posts for...

Yes, I’m The Head of My Company’s Marketing Department

A few months ago, I wrote a post called What I’ve Learned In Six Years of Growing An Indie Author Business. The idea was to provide six bullet points, one for each year I’ve run my publishing company. Ultimately, I realized that each of those six points could use some...

Top Ten Words or Phrases That Make You Cringe

So I've been looking at some topics for blogs, and I find all kinds of great ideas.  One of the more amusing ones is posting about personal stuff or pet peeves, so your readers get to know you better. This idea can work, but it can also be a disaster. I've seen...

Recovery 202? Long-Term Sobriety Is Possible

So, the plan for today was to write a post about recovery. Unfortunately, I’m in a different kind of recovery mode today—recovering from a sinus infection. What that means for you, the reader, is I’m going to keep this short. Really short. I took my last drink 30...

About Brothers’ Hand

As Sahno Publishing continues the marketing campaign in upstate New York for Brothers’ Hand, I want to check in both with readers and potential readers. Like the blurb on the back of the book says, this is a story about Jerome Brothers, who comes from a small town in...

Short Story Contest Part III

Happy Labor Day, everybody! To celebrate, I’m posting part III of a short story I’m including in an upcoming collection. If you haven’t already played along, check out parts I & II from the last two weeks. The person who sends in the most helpful suggestion or...

But What If I’m Sick?

Last month my wife and I went to Thailand for a two-week vacation. This was my first real vacation in over two years, and my wife Sunny’s first visit back to her family in her country of origin in even longer. So we really needed and, I think, deserved it. And...

What’s The Problem With Shameless Self-Promotion?

While I still find it somewhat hard to believe, I've been on Twitter for almost eight years. I know this not only because Twitter shows Joined March 2015 on my profile but also because, even if they eliminate that feature, I use a tracker called Who Unfollowed Me? If...

MLK Day 2023

Here’s wishing everyone a safe, sane Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For many of us, today is always something of a day of mourning: not only mourning the loss of a great civil rights leader, but also mourning the turn our great nation seemed to take in recent years....

Twitter Tips for Authors in 2023

If you follow my blog, you probably connected with me via Twitter, whether you’re a fellow author or not. In 2020, I wrote a post about Twitter for fellow writers that got a good response. Three years later, the landscape has changed, but some Twitter best practices...

Going Off The Rails (But Not On A Crazy Train)

Last April, I wrote a blog post called Back on Track With a Work-In-Progress. Part of that post was to talk about the difference between a “plotter” and a “pantser” (and to describe myself as a hybrid of the two, a “plantser”). Another, less obvious motive, was to...

Those Tricky French Authors and Their Obsessions

Today’s blog post was originally going to be Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. III. However, after seeing parts I and II lined up, I decided to call an audible and make it something less repetitive. Somehow the SEO gods have gotten into my head. As I’ve mentioned...

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. II

In last week’s post, I mentioned a pretty well-known author who has publicly reported his publisher “wouldn’t touch” a new release, in part because a character in his novel referred to herself as “fat.” I heard this story on a podcast, and I remember thinking, “Wait...

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want

I’ve been stewing on this for a while. It’s been brewing for quite a while. I could probably write a song about it (how about a rap?), but I don’t think I will. This is more of a blog post topic, and it might even deserve a series. And that’s the title and topic of...

Should Every Month Be Gratitude Month?

When I was a kid, I loved Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. I read it daily and collected nearly every paperback volume of the cartoon, so I could see what I’d missed since the comic strip’s inception in 1950.  Certain things stuck: quotes like “happiness is a warm puppy”...

More Thoughts On Robot Writers and The Tech Dystopia

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post here called When Will the Robot Overlords Replace Us? Apparently, I’m fairly obsessed with this stuff, because every time I come here and empty my brain, it seems to come up again. Today is no different. Part of the reason,...