The low-code moment for writers


I was talking to a coder about how there are promises in the air about how "anyone" can be a writer now. A few years ago, I remember similar promises about how "anyone" could create an app "with the click of a button". And of course, there were the promises from the early web about how "anyone" could start a business or a publication. Plenty of people did, but "anyone"?


Nope. Not just anyone. Many did none of those things. In fact, most didn't.

App makers are still mostly actual coders. Online businesses are still mostly actual businesses. We need to look at the promises made by AI-based art and writing tools in the same light. Most people who will use AI tools to make art and create fiction will be actual professional artists and writers.

The thing that makes someone something is not the availability of a tool. It is the desire to do the thing.

No matter how easy it becomes to create an app, someone who doesn't want to do so, won't do so. And even if someone does, they will either end up with something generic and without soul. Or something that they will need knowledge of code to fix and improve.

No-code or low-code solutions mostly only do one thing to markets. They bring more people into it and provide the professionals with more opportunities. Popular website building tool Wix doesn't need you to have any knowledge of code. But after you have built a website, it offers you the option of hiring professional web designers and web developers to enhance your site.

I see the panic among writers, designers, and artists about the coming of the AI age, and I feel like telling them that though they will lose out on some opportunities in the short term, in the medium to long term, this revolution will open up doors that they don't even know exist right now.

I will write more about this soon. I recognise the fears and apprehension that is emanating from creative communities right now. I even share some of those. Particularly the ones about professions at risk and jobs being lost. But I'm a huge fan of the movie Hidden Figures. In it, a group of mathematicians are at risk of being made obsolete by computers that can do their job in seconds.

They solve this problem by being the first people to understand and operate the new technology that threatens their livelihood.

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