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Is AI taking over the world?

On my soapbox today.

You see the stories everywhere. Is AI safe? Will it take over the world? Will computers finally replace humans on the planet?

There are very few applications for AI that I think are necessary. One person's opinion. Already, computers are doing things for us that diminish our ability to think and create and process information. I used to know the phone numbers of all my friends and family. Now, I hit a button. If you asked me for one of those numbers, I'd have to look it up. I do NOT think that is a step in the right direction. What if I don't have my phone with me and I'm in trouble? What if I need someone to call my family for help? I can't tell them the phone numbers, because I don't use them anymore. A computer does it for me.

Yes, I believe computers can be helpful tools, but they have gone so far beyond helpful. Now they are intrusive to the point where we don't always know what the truth is (because AI is so convincing) and people don't have to think for themselves. We NEED to think for ourselves.

With all that being said, I don't want to be left behind and ignore progress. I will NOT use AI to write my stories for me. It's my imagination, after all. But recently I was given the opportunity to have AI read one of my books into audio format. Why not? I mean, it was worth checking out, right? So I did. The narration of Heart for Rent, With an Option isn't horrible, although I'll admit I haven't listened to the whole darn thing. It's only available on Apple, but you're welcome to give it a listen. I'm not an audiobook kind of person, personally, and of the handful of audiobooks I've attempted, I've only actually enjoyed one of them--and that one was read by an actress who was VERY engaging. We're talking some of my favorite books, and I was only able to stay awake through the one.

So where does that leave me? It was an experiment. I can't see myself using AI for the rest of my books. Where is the artistic control? I really should listen to the whole thing to see if they were able to pronounce some of the French in the story, or if they emphasized words in the right places. While the voice isn't "flat," it doesn't carry the same engagement. It's someone reading the story to me. I'd rather have someone acting it out.

What do you think? Is AI going one step too far? Is it useful in some scenarios? Or are we moving into an Isaac Asimov story where AI takes over the world?

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