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The Magic of AI

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Recently, there has been a ton of talk about the impact of AI. As a test, we developed a simple script describing my most recent novel, An Inch from Oblivion, and fed it through several AI platforms. On its own, the programs developed a video book trailer, complete with music, graphics, and a computer-generated voice. The last version only needed minor tweaks and updates.

We found the voice to be monotonic and unable to truly capture the needed emotion. To rectify this, we sought out the voice talents of my son Ryan Polakoff and voila…we had a professionally produced video book trailer.

It’s easy to envision how AI technology could one day create audio books by simply feeding it a Word document. There are so many positive possibilities!

Unfortunately, AI technology is also fraught with danger. Imagine getting a call from someone you believe to be your spouse, son, or daughter claiming they have been kidnapped. Such reports are becoming common as criminals seek to capitalize on AI and exploit basic human emotion. Authorities suggest that you have a secret word or phrase to share with your loved ones to expose an AI hoax.

As a former college professor, I shudder to think how challenging it must be in today’s environment to guard against AI writing student papers. I recently read about one professor who wisely reverted to a testing technique dating back hundreds of years. He requires students to test orally, one at a time. Accountability for learning is essential but the days of written college papers may be ending. AI will cause teachers at all levels to get creative to ensure students are learning the material being taught.

As far as writing novels is concerned, I can certify that 100% of everything I write emanates from my own mind. No matter how cool the tech is, there really is no substitute for the human imagination.

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