A computer storyteller? No thanks

By Julian Finholm

As a storyteller, the creative energy I put into writing my stories is at one hundred percent, and that is what makes them feel alive. But it is a difficult process with the amount of brain power, life management and other factors like creativity regulation I have to deal with. One alternative I’ve come across is ChatGPT, the latest in the growing phenomenon of AI in today’s modern world. It’s supposed to write for you with only a simple prompt, yet if I were asked if I’d prefer this over writing my own stories, I’d give an all-around no.

One reason depends on its capabilities as a writing service. Despite its ability to quickly pick up on knowledge related to popular comic lines like “Batman” and “Transformers,” it’s limited in proper storytelling when it comes to making original stories. For instance, when I asked it to tell me a story about Batman and Jeffrey Mason from “The Morgue Files” anthology horror series, it got details wrong about him regarding his ghostly appearance rather than the realistically disfigured face he has. It isn’t without its merits, as it did provide me with excellent ideas for my own writing. However, the errors are still noticeable.

Continuing onto the errors of knowledge, when I asked ChatGPT to tell me stories related to “The Morgue Files,” it mistook it for another series created by one Jack Luna. This isn’t the case for me as “The Morgue Files” I know was made by David Near, one of my favorite YouTubers. Some more of these errors came when I asked questions such as which lantern corps of the DC universe would fit certain characters, and it believed certain lantern corps (White, Black, and Ultraviolet) were made up by fans, which wasn’t the case. Sure, it improved on its knowledge when I showed it the truth, but that alone is another reason for me putting it off as calling ChatGPT a reliable storyteller.

My final reason for saying “no” to computerized AI storytelling is a personal one. It’s unrealistic to me in the sense of these stories being told by a machine. Despite the challenges that come with me writing stories, I always love it for what I gain from it. I’m passionate about storytelling. It’s such a great way of expressing myself which I can’t always do verbally. It’s where my creativity can thrive with the endless possibilities I explore in the worlds I make. ChatGPT feels unreal to me. It was only telling me what I wanted it to tell me rather than generating new ideas. This, coupled with its error-prone tendencies when talking about existing stories, only reinforce my stance of preferring stories being told by real people rather than machines.

Keep in mind, AI can be great when placed in the right hands. In fact, I believe ChatGPT is greatly entertaining and inspiring. But that’s only when it’s doing things correctly. Otherwise, it’s not the most reliable source to hear stories from. I believe a story coming from the heart is better than the one being told from the screen.