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  • 🦉 Issue #38: Navigating Creativity's New Horizon with Stephanie Pajonas

🦉 Issue #38: Navigating Creativity's New Horizon with Stephanie Pajonas

Unpacking the Ethical, Educational, and Creative Potential of AI in the Arts

✨ Personal Update

I’m home from SXSW! If you’d like to read my insights on AI and the future of education and creativity, I published that article on my Substack.

🌟 Meet the Guest

Steph Pajonas is the COO and a coach at the Future Fiction Academy, and an author of both science fiction romance and cozy mysteries. As a seasoned author with over 30 books published, she understands the challenges of writing and also the power of AI tools to overcome those challenges. Her own experience using AI to break through brain fog and become a more efficient writer inspired her to share that knowledge with others. She’s spent months learning about the latest AI technologies and techniques, and she’s eager to help other authors succeed with them.



  • Forthcoming podcast launching in mid-April called Brave New Bookshelf (Website under construction)

  • Keynote speaker at California Creative Writer’s Conference 2024 - https://www.wcwriters.com/sched-detailed/

  • Panelist at Future of Publishing Mastermind on Ethically Writing With AI (February 2024)

📝 Overview

Here’s what we talked about:

  1. Transformational Moment with AI: Stephanie's "ah-ha" moment came when using Sudowrite, realizing AI's potential to understand context and significantly change creative processes. This realization was further cemented with the capabilities of ChatGPT, emphasizing AI's understanding and use of contextual information.

  2. AI's Role in Creative Processes: Both acknowledge the transformative impact of AI on creativity, with a focus on its ability to handle mundane tasks, thereby freeing up humans for more creative endeavors. Stephanie highlights the importance of maintaining a human element in creativity, despite potential job disruptions.

  3. Ethical Considerations and AI: Stephanie raises concerns about the ethical implications of using AI, especially the training of AI on copyrighted works without consent. She advocates for responsible use and the need for education to navigate the ethical frontiers of AI technology.

  4. AI's Future in Creativity and Accessibility: Looking ahead, Stephanie is optimistic about AI's role in enhancing creativity, storytelling, and making creative expression more accessible, especially for those with physical or mental disabilities. She predicts that AI will enable new forms of immersive storytelling and foster a more direct interaction between creators and their audience.

  5. Educating on AI Use: The Future Fiction Academy, co-founded by Stephanie, focuses on educating writers on the effective use of AI tools. Through tools like Rexy, they aim to give creatives direct control over AI interactions, emphasizing the importance of understanding AI settings to harness its full creative potential.

  6. Community Building and AI: Stephanie shares her experience in managing an AI-focused Facebook group, fostering an open-minded and positive space for discussing AI tools. This community supports learning and collaboration among authors interested in AI.

  7. AI's Potential to Empower New Voices: Stephanie is hopeful about AI enabling new and diverse voices in storytelling, potentially helping those who have been hindered by physical or mental barriers to share their stories.

Overall, the interview reflects a balanced view on AI's impact on creativity, highlighting its potential to augment human creativity while also acknowledging the challenges and ethical considerations. The sentiment is cautiously optimistic, with an emphasis on education, ethical use, and the continued importance of human involvement in creative processes.

📝 The Transcript with Analysis

Balancing AI Advancements with Human Creativity: Perspectives from the Front Lines

J. and Stephanie discussed the potential implications of AI, with J. expressing his desire to use and teach AI, while also being concerned about its impact on creators. Stephanie disagreed with halting the development of AI, believing it would significantly impact various industries in the coming years, especially in terms of eliminating drudgery work and potentially replacing some jobs. However, she emphasized the importance of maintaining a human touch in the process, as AI cannot replicate the creativity and unique experiences provided by humans. Stephanie voiced concerns over corporations potentially using AI to remove humans from the equation, particularly in the publishing industry.

J.: What was your “ah-ha” moment? When did you realize everything was about to change?

Stephanie: Dude, it wasn’t even like a year ago. It was like two years ago, right? I feel like I was at the forefront of a lot of this, you know, and I think it was that first time that I put a chapter into Sudowrite and I highlighted something because I wanted help with a description of something, right? So I highlighted a sentence. My characters were in an outdoor market, on this planet that’s mostly Japanese. So, I highlighted the market and I asked for help with descriptions of it, and it read the text around what I was doing and it produced things that were Japanese in nature, and I was like, “Oh. It understands context.” It’s reading the stuff around what I’m asking it for, and it knows to give me like more targeted help, and that was when I was just like, “Well, here we go.” It’s changing, right? I just thought it was one of these things that would just tell me what a market was, almost like a dictionary definition, and then when I realized that it would actually look at context, I was like, “Okay. That’s it. This is gonna change everything.” I think that once I saw ChatGPT come out and people were like using it, and I understood that it could hold onto the conversation for a long time and that it could look back at the conversation and use that as context, I also at that point was like, “Yep. It’s done. That’s it for us.”

J.: We’re laughing about this, but…

Stephanie: Yeah, but it’s kind of a morbid laugh. I mean, let’s face it. I was listening to a podcast called Marketing Against the Grain. They had a guest on this past week, and he said, “I just need to be able to show this text and these graphics on this page.” He was like, here you go, here’s HTML. Did he ever foresee the internet and how all-encompassing it would be for our lives? You and I are talking over the internet right now and he didn’t know HTML was just the beginning and that’s where we are with AI right now.

Even at this point where I’m like, it can do so much. I know that it’s going to do a whole lot more, and it is a little scary. I’ve never been one to put my head in the sand when something was scary. This is a time for me to learn more about it, and I feel like education in general is a way to dispel ignorance and myth. I’ll learn about it. I can see it’s coming. It is a tidal wave off in the distance, and if I don’t prepare for it—if I don’t get my submarine ready, my scuba gear, and all that kind of stuff—I’m gonna be swept away. It’s time to get ready and be prepared.

It all started with that one chapter I put in Sudowrite and seeing ChatGPT and knowing that regular, normal people would be using this technology. It wasn’t going to be something niche like NFTs or Bitcoin. There’s still plenty of people who don’t even bank online. But then they’re like, “Hey, I’ve heard of this AI thing,” and then it’s hit the zeitgeist. It’s coming. That was my “ah-ha” moment.

J.: I think you and I share a very similar perspective in that we see what’s happening right now as a transitionary phase, and I think a lot of people see it as a static phase. In the history of software—until now—it’s been shipped, and until the code is updated, the software just does what it does. It doesn’t improve upon itself the more that you use it. AI does. I struggle with these conflicting ideas in that I want to teach other people how to use AI, but I see an endgame that doesn’t look rosy for creators. When we see things like Sora, and we see Tyler Perry halting construction on his 800 million dollar studio project, that’s gotta be a red flag, right?

Stephanie: Yeah, certainly. I disagreed with Perry halting his studio project because the human touch is so important. AI is just not going to replace a lot of human creativity. It’s going to eliminate a lot of the dredge work, absolutely. But I think that having a human in the process is going to always be important. At least I hope so. I think he could have that studio, still employ humans to do a lot of these really cool things, and there’s going to be things you can’t do, you just won’t be able to get right with the computer.

You need to get out there with your film camera and see the buildings and the light and everything. So, yes, I think it’s going to eliminate a lot of jobs. I think that it’s going to upend the industry incredibly. I think that a lot of things are going to change, but I also believe that all of those things are inevitable at this point and that there is a fight to be had. I feel like the fight is where we’re trying to maintain our humanness amongst all of this. I’m fighting for people to be able to use and understand these tools and still use them in a very human way, and I think that’s where I feel like it’s like a good medium. Otherwise, I just worry about all of these corporations and companies who are going to use it to eliminate humans from the equation.

Big publishers are already using AI. I’ve seen it. I know that they’re working with it. I feel like we, as the independent publishers, need to be using these tools too, because otherwise they’re going to shut us out of the market. I do feel for people who are losing their jobs because they’re copywriters and copy editors, and it breaks my heart, but I also feel like those people can now pick up the tools and learn new skills with them and possibly evolve and do something really cool with them. At least I would hope that they would and not just give up.

Blurring Lines Between AI and Human Creativity: The Future of Audio Narration and Writing

J. and Stephanie discussed the current state and future potential of AI, particularly in the areas of audio narration and text generation. J. emphasized the limitations of AI audio and the need for human involvement in areas such as narrative books. Stephanie shared her experience of training AI on her own writing using 24 samples, and noted that she could get AI to mimic her writing style so well that people couldn’t tell the difference. The conversation underscored the ongoing challenges and future possibilities of AI.

J.: I certainly don’t want to drag us into a conversation about all of the objections that have been raised because it’s not really interesting to me, but there is one—maybe it’s an all-encompassing one or it’s an umbrella that sits over a lot of the objections—as of March of 2024, criticism of people using AI goes something like this: “Oh yeah, I see that ChatGPT is pretty good, and it will do X, Y, and Z, but it’ll never do this…” Another example: AI audio, narrated books. I’ve heard authors say, “They’re never going to sound as good as humans do.” I just chuckle and then shut up because there’s positioning there that’s going to benefit anyone—I’m not out to change opinions. But I don’t know if those people are paying attention to what Eleven Labs is doing and how narrators are going to be able to license their voice clones, and how there’s AI music coming out now that if I didn’t tell you it was AI, you’d never even know.

Stephanie: Even with text, this is the one I hear a lot: “Oh, but ChatGPT writes in a certain way, and it never sounds good.” I love these people in groups who say, “I can spot AI at ten paces.” I’m like, “Oh, honey. Oh, sorry.” I made a fine tune. I used twenty-four samples of my own work, my human written work, before involving AI, and I set up a whole data set, and I trained OpenAI on my own writing and now I can get it to write like me, and people cannot tell the difference. We’ve done the side-by-side. I had ChatGPT write a scene first. Without a fine tune, it came out fine, but with the stupid “AI-isms.”

J.: The cliches.

Stephanie: The cliches and all that kind of stuff… Then I put the same prompt into my fine tune, and it repeated itself just like I do in my own writing. “Why did I decide to walk today? Why did I decide to walk today? Why did I decide to walk today?” It’s all of these little human things that I do in my own writing, and the AI picked up on it because I had fine-tuned it and nobody could tell the difference. Nobody. They all thought that my fine tune was human work, and that’s where we are right now. I can generate an entire book with a fine tune and nobody would be able to tell.

Is that my goal in life? Not really. I do enjoy the whole process of storytelling, but as a person who is understanding AI and trying to understand the limits and be able to teach this to other people, I’ve done these experiments. It has blown my mind. It has blown other people’s minds—especially those who have only worked with ChatGPT. They have no idea, and I want them to know. I want them to be prepared.

Ethical Frontiers in AI: Protecting Creativity and Navigating the Path Toward Responsible Use

Stephanie expressed her concerns about the ethical implications of training AI on someone else’s work without their consent. She highlighted the potential for AI to replicate a person’s voice and suggested the need for legislation to protect authors and creators. She emphasized the importance of using AI ethically as part of the creative process. Stephanie also addressed the issue of the ethical sourcing of data sets, suggesting that AI has the right to use copyrighted work in the same way humans do. However, she drew a line at AI training on an entire body of work from one person. Stephanie and J. discussed the limited understanding and use of AI, particularly ChatGPT, among the general public and authors. They concluded that there is a need to educate people about the potential and implications of AI.

I would love to have some sort of legislation in place that says you cannot train on somebody else’s whole corpus of work without their permission. I could grab all of Stephen King’s work right now and make a fine-tune and—boom. I could have Stephen King’s voice. It is totally possible, and I don’t want that to happen to people. I’ve done it my own fine-tunes, I’ve seen it, I know it works, and now it’s all about educating people that it’s coming, that we need to be prepared for it, that you can use it ethically as part of your process, too. Go ahead and train on your own work and make your process easier for you. But ethically, don’t be training on somebody else’s work. I know that there’s a whole host of people who felt that the datasets hadn’t been sourced ethically in the first place.

I guess sometimes I feel like that’s a matter of opinion. I personally don’t find that the data sets were unethically sourced. Humans are trained on copyrighted work every day. We’re reading stuff, we’re reading newspapers, we’re reading signs on the street, we’re looking through gallery windows and seeing art, and then we’re not paying for any of that—we’re just absorbing it, and it comes into our brains, and then we use that as part of our ways to be creative, and I feel that the AI has the right to do that as well. I assign the same ethics to humans as I do to computers, so I don’t see a problem with that. However, I would be not cool with them taking an entire body of work and training on that from one person. That’s not a good idea. I feel like that’s where we are, that right now the general public sees the surface, and those of us who are in the trenches and doing this kind of stuff every day see a lot more. I think it’s gonna scare a lot of people unfortunately.

J.: This is a very small data set, but I was recently at an author conference, and there were maybe fifty to seventy-five people in attendance. I was on a panel talking about AI, and someone said, “Can you raise your hand if you’ve used ChatGPT?” I would say maybe half the room raised their hand. And then she said, “And how many of you are paying for ChatGPT 4?” And three people raised their hands. I was like, wow. If your opinion of generative AI is based on ChatGPT 3.5 and you don’t know how to use it, it then makes sense that you don’t understand how to use it. So, let’s talk about FFA and Rexy and how you’re looking to remedy that.

Introducing Rexy: Empowering Creatives with Direct AI Control and Customized Creativity

Stephanie, a co-founder of the Future Fiction Academy, discussed the development of a tool called Rexy. The purpose of Rexy is to provide a direct interface between the user and the AI, allowing creatives to retain control over the prompts and responses. Stephanie emphasized the need for education about the tool’s settings, such as temperature, Top P, frequency penalty, and presence penalty, which affect the creativity, word choice, and repetition of responses.

Yeah, okay. So, the Future Fiction Academy, we’re trying to focus mostly on education first. I know that we have this tool called Rexy. We named it T-Rex because of the tiny arms of T-Rex. Your arms can stretch to the keyboard to type. You don’t have to have the AI do everything, so we called it Rexy. It was my co-founder Elizabeth’s idea from the beginning. These tools obfuscate the prompting on the back end. You can’t see what Sudowrite is sending to OpenAI and what they’re getting back and then what they’re processing and then putting on the page. She felt that that was not good for creatives. The creatives need control. We need control over the kinds of stuff that we’re prompting, the kinds of responses that we’re getting, et cetera. So we built the tool so that there would be nothing in between the person and the prompting, so that you could always know what your prompt is and the kind of response that you’re getting.

You can always play with all the little dials on the back end. You can play with temperature and Top P and all the things. But in order to do all of that, they need to be educated first. There are lots of people who have no idea that there are settings on the back end because ChatGPT does not even show you any of that. There are if you go to the API version. You can play with temperature and you can play with Top P and you can play with frequency penalty and presence penalty and a few other things.

J.: For people who don’t understand what you’re talking about, what do those settings allow you to do?

Stephanie: In a general sense, temperature, is like creativity. That’s the best way to put it. A low temperature means it’s not going to be very creative, and a higher temperature means it’s going to be very creative. In fact, if you turn it all the way up, you get nothing but gobbledygook. It’s weird. Somewhere in the middle is usually pretty good. Top P: When you get a response back from an AI there are multitudes of words that it considers in the probability function, so Top P tells you to take a slice of those top words and consider them. If you set it at one out of a hundred, it means it’s considering all hundred percent of the words to come back, but if you turn it down to like 0.8, it’s considering eighty percent of the top words. It can narrow your choices. Frequency penalty is how frequently it repeats words. If you say that the penalty is high, it’s going to use synonyms for things so that it’s not repeating the same words over and over and over again in the response. Presence penalty is if you have words in the prompt, it doesn’t want you to repeat those words in the response. If you’re asking about a day at the beach and you don’t want it to use the word beach again, you’re going to turn the presence penalty all the way up because you’re going to penalize it if it uses the same words. Turn it all the way down, it can use the same words in the response.

That’s the bulk of what those things mean, and that’s what we teach students. We get them in the door, we show them how to use all the base foundational models like Open AI, use it on the playground on the back end, so you can play with all the knobs. We teach them all the basics and how to find open source models if they write “not safe for work” material. If you’re writing sex or violence, we want you to be able to go to an open source model and get that and not have it filtered. Most of the big guys are filtered, and they won’t let you do that.

We teach everybody the basics and then we show them how to put together prompts. It’s about layering and asking, being specific. It’s not just, “Give me three ideas for a science fiction story.” No, you must be more specific.

Future Fiction Academy: Educating Writers on Mastering AI Tools for Enhanced Creativity

Stephanie discussed the role of the Future Fiction Academy in teaching students about the use of AI models like OpenAI and Claude. She highlighted the importance of understanding the tools and how to use them effectively, including the use of prompts and layering requests for more specific results. Stephanie also mentioned the need for constant testing and adaptation to changes in the AI models. She emphasized that while the Academy provides the tools, it also educates students on how to use them to enhance their writing processes. Stephanie also mentioned that Rexy that helps students run sequences of prompts. She concluded by reiterating the importance of education and understanding in the use of these tools.

So Future Fiction Academy is, first and foremost, an educational company. We want people to come in and understand the tools and how to use them. That’s our goal. We’re always innovating. We’re always looking. Claude 3 just came out this week. I sat down with it yesterday. I was playing with it. I kept getting errors in my response. Then I realized they changed their max length to max tokens to generate. It doesn’t even encompass your whole conversation anymore. You’re basically telling it how many tokens to give back in response. That’s different than it used to be, and we have to be testing constantly and understanding these things and then we tell our students about it so that they don’t get stuck in the same problems. Once we have the students educated, they use the tools that we give them in order to start writing or brainstorming or whatever it is, however they want to add AI as part of their process, and Rexy is part of that. It gives them the chance to run big prompts, have a library of prompts we give them, and then they can add their own prompts to a personal prompt library. Then once they’re running those prompts, we can teach them how to sequence them, too.

Using a tool inside Rexy called WordBanger, you can set up a whole sequence of prompts. You set it, walk away from your computer, come back ten minutes later, and you’re like, “Oh, look! All these tasks are done. I didn’t have to do all that heavy lifting anymore.” That’s basically what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get people to understand that these are tools that can help with pain points in their process.

Find the thing in your process that is giving you the most problems. Maybe it’s brainstorming, you’re having trouble coming up with world building stuff. Or, if the first draft is your pain point, maybe you have it do a first draft, you rewrite it, you add your humanness to it, whatever. It’s just about finding that thing for you that’s going to work really well.

I feel like the education component is really the most important part of that whole process. Understand where everything is, how it all works, and then you sit down and you figure out where you’re going to use it and that’s what we’re teaching people to do.

Building a Thriving Online Community: Navigating the Challenges of AI Discussion and Collaboration

Stephanie shared about a Facebook group she started with Elizabeth, initially facing backlash but later gaining traction with nearly 6,000 members. She discussed her experiences in managing a group focused on AI tools, implementing a policy of open-mindedness and positivity, and occasionally intervening in conflicts. J. commended Stephanie’s diligent work in establishing the group and setting its tone, noting that the community is now largely policing itself. Stephanie expressed satisfaction with the group’s dynamics, crediting its success to the hard work of herself and the other members.

If I’m in a conversation with an author and I start talking about Claude versus ChatGPT, and they’re like, “Who’s Claude?” the next thing I say is you really have to join the AI for Authors Facebook group because this is where you can be a wallflower. You can work and you can start to get a sense of what’s happening.

J.: Can you talk a little bit about the Facebook group and the vibe or the community ethos that you and Elizabeth have developed since you started it?

Stephanie: When I first had that moment of revelation with Sudowrite, and I was like, “Oh my god, this tool is so cool. Everybody needs to see this tool. I love this tool.” I put it on my personal Facebook page, and the amount of backlash that I got from people was insane. I was like, wide eyes, “Oh my god, is this where we are?” I guess this is where we are, so I was very quiet about it for a while. I decided I wouldn’t say anything in public, but I was going to continue using these tools because I had a gut feeling about them—something big is going to happen from this. I felt it. I never had that feeling about NFTs or Bitcoin or whatever or even other things that have come and gone over the years, but this one hit me in the chest and I just knew.

I was very quiet about it for a while, and then I realized I have friends that I care about, and I want to make sure that they know about this, and I know that they’re open minded, and they probably do want to learn. I thought, I’ll start a Facebook group. Goodness gracious, I think it’s like the hundredth Facebook group I’ve started? I added five or six friends. It was just us in there for two months, and we were talking, and I was answering as many questions as I could, and ChatGPT came out, and then people started showing up in the group.

It was at this point that I was seeing a lot of vitriol in other Facebook groups around this topic. People are mad. They’re angry about this. I thought, in order for me to run this group, I’m going to have to say that things in here need to remain positive. We’re using the tools. We’re going to use them in any way that we want to. We’re not going to demonize anybody for the ways that they decide to use them. If they only want to use it to brainstorm, great. That is your prerogative. You want to use it in every part of your process? Go for it. We’ll see how good it is I’m open to that. Let’s see how you do. When I started the group, it was rocky there for a few couple months because there would be people who came in who’d freak out and attack others in the group, and I would have to kick them out.

Since then, I’ve put the kibosh on a lot of people who came in and decided that what some people were doing was wrong and what some people were doing was right. Once I put an end to that and I said everything in this group is fair game when it comes to AI, then I feel like that was the point where it took off and people were willing to come and spend time there because they knew that they weren’t going to get the pitchforks, and they weren’t going to get run out of town to ask about these tools like they were in other groups. I feel like that was where the change happened, and I’ve kept it very similar since then. There have been times where I’ve had to come down on people, and I feel bad about it. I remember I came at some guy who was telling me, you should do this, you should… I’m like, you’re “should-ing” all over the place. Don’t tell people what they should or should not do. This is not the place for that. And over time, I feel like a lot of people were either shown the door, or they’ve left because they realized that it was not for them, but the majority of people are staying and they are remaining positive, and I’m very, very happy with it.

Every now and then we’ll get a couple posts in the group where I’ll see it and I’ll think, I don’t think this is going to go over well, but you know what? I’m going to go ahead, and I’m going to hit approve, and I’m going to let everybody else tell this person that this is not going to go over well. I’m not going to be the judge. I’m going to let the whole group be the judge. I approve it. I watch it go down in flames. That’s it. And we move on. It’s not just me anymore. In the beginning, it was me, and it was my stance on everything, but I feel like the group itself, like the core members who are there all the time, and they’re answering questions, and they’re being very open minded, and being helpful, they’ve got the whole ethos of the group down. They do a good job of policing things when I can’t be there which is very nice.

J.: That’s a credit to you because that doesn’t happen by itself, and the work that you put in to establishing that is what’s paying off now. You were very diligent and on top of those things. When I came in there were maybe several hundred people and now there are close to 6,000. You built that from scratch. You’ve set the tone, you set the expectations, and now the community is policing itself. It doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have to step in, but you now aren’t the sole bad guy in any of these situations, I think that’s a credit to the hard work you put into it.

Stephanie: Thank you. It has been fun, I will admit. It’s not like a huge amount of drudgery or anything like that. We’re having a lot of fun. I’ve never felt like it was an extra job of mine to be in there and moderate and make sure people are behaving themselves. I think my mods and Elizabeth, Kevin, and Danica, and Heather, they’re all like, this is a fairly easy job and we have to handle a few people every now and then, but otherwise, people who are in there, they’re doing the work there. They understand how the group works, and they’re keeping it real all the time. I’m happy with that.

Envisioning the Future: AI's Expanding Role in Creativity, Accessibility, and Storytelling

J. asked Stephanie about her predictions for her business five years into the future. Stephanie admitted that predicting the future accurately was challenging due to the rapid pace of change and the constant evolution of their industry. However, she emphasized the potential of AI to enhance creativity and storytelling, enabling creatives to develop immersive experiences for their audience. Stephanie also highlighted the potential of AI to help those with physical or mental disabilities to express their creativity. She expressed uncertainty about the specific tools AI will develop in the future but remained optimistic about its potential to boost creativity and human interaction.

J.: What does your life, business, writing—however you want to answer it—look like five years from now?

Stephanie: That’s tough. It was tough to figure out what my business was going to be like even ten years ago. We saw the pace of change happen with KDP and then other companies come and go, so for AI, it’s even tougher. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I read a lot of news on this. I read your newsletter, so I’m always just unsure what’s going to come next.

I think that the opportunities for creatives are going to be amazing. I think that we’re going to have the ability now to not just create images and video, but create whole worlds, be immersive for our readers. It won’t just be reading words on a page. They’ll be able to see images of the things that we’re creating and view videos, and they’re going to be able to connect with us in ways that we weren’t able to before because believe it or not, even though we’re doing all this extra stuff, like images and video, it’s still not as onerous or laborsome as it has been in the past.

AI is taking a lot off of our shoulders, and it is giving us more time to interact with our audience, and I think something that people don’t realize is that AI can make you more human because you’re going to be available to interact with people in the future.

Five years from now, I see being able to serve my audience with all this cool stuff and still be there for them in ways that I wasn’t able to before, so I don’t think that’s necessarily the response about AI and where it’s going because I really have no idea. Every time something new comes out, I’m just like, wow, I didn’t think of that. My Futuristic in my Clifton Strengths are around twelve or thirteen, even though I love the future. Sci-fi: I’m a big fan. But my inability to see that far out is really tough. I also want to say that I feel like one of the greatest voices of our generation is going to come about because of AI. You think about the big names, like Neil Gaiman or J.K. Rowling, and they’ve come about because they had this ability to cut through the noise. Now some new voice is going to come forward and have a really great story that people connect with, that’s really going to get into the popular thought and the zeitgeist and they will have been enabled to do this because of AI.

When that happens, I think that that will be the next ramp up, and people will be like, oh, I’ve had that story that I’ve always wanted to tell, and these tools really can help me. Yes, they can. Believe it, they can. I’m looking forward to that. I think that that’s what’s really going to make a big difference in our business.

I think about all of the disabled or the authors who are struggling because of physical disabilities or mental disabilities, and they have so much talent, and they cannot get it out because of the problems that they are struggling with, and AI is going to free up a lot of that for them. I’m seeing people who are vision impaired, they’re able to use these tools to do that, get words down on the page, which they had trouble with before. I dealt with brain fog from COVID, and that was where I came into a lot of AI tools.

I think AI is going to accelerate the pace of creativity in the next five years. I don’t know exactly what the tools themselves are going to be, but I feel like they’re going to give us ways to be more creative, and I think that that’s a boon for us, not a hindrance.

✔️ Insights & Actionable Advice

Contextual Understanding for Enhanced Creativity:

Insight: AI's ability to understand and generate content based on context can significantly enhance creative output, providing nuanced and relevant material for marketing campaigns.

Actionable Advice: Input detailed and context-rich prompts when using generative AI for marketing content. Experiment with different settings to see how nuanced the AI's output can become, thereby improving the relevance and engagement of your campaigns.

Ethical Use of AI in Creative Processes:

Insight: The ethical implications of using AI, especially concerning copyright and consent, are critical considerations for creative professionals.

Actionable Advice: When integrating AI into your marketing strategy, ensure you're using or generating content ethically. This means not training AI on copyrighted material without permission and being transparent about the use of AI-generated content with your audience.

AI as a Tool for Accessibility and Inclusion:

Insight: AI can help overcome physical or mental barriers to creativity, making it a powerful tool for inclusivity in marketing.

Actionable Advice: Explore how AI can assist team members with disabilities in your marketing department. Utilize voice-to-text features, AI-assisted design tools, or other technologies that can facilitate a more inclusive creative process.

Educating Teams on AI Capabilities and Ethics:

Insight: There's a significant need for education on both the capabilities and the ethical considerations of AI among creatives.

Actionable Advice: Organize workshops or training sessions for your marketing team that cover both the technical aspects of using AI tools and the ethical guidelines for their application. This dual focus ensures your team is not only skilled in AI usage but also mindful of its implications.

Building Community Around AI in Creative Fields:

Insight: Creating a community or joining existing ones focused on AI in creative industries can provide support, inspiration, and shared learning opportunities.

Actionable Advice: Start or join forums, social media groups, or local meetups where marketers and creatives discuss AI. Share experiences, tools, and best practices to foster a collaborative environment where everyone can learn and benefit from collective insights on using AI responsibly and effectively.

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📣 J. Thorn Public Appearances

If you’re interested in hearing me speak, present, or pontificate on a panel, check out my speaking schedule.

Note: ”Upcoming” gigs are linked to the event site, while “Past” gigs are linked to replays, where available.


✅ Idaho Writers Conference ('24) April 11-13, 2024 - Boise, Idaho

✅ University of Delaware - The Diamond Challenge ('24) April 26-27, 2024 - Newark, Delaware

✅ Creator Economy Expo ('24) May 5-7, 2024 - Cleveland, Ohio

✅ Author Nation Live ('24) November 11-15, 2024 - Las Vegas, Nevada


✅ South by Southwest ('24), March 8-16, 2024 - Austin, Texas

✅ Author Alchemy Summit ('24) February 22-25, 2024 - Portland, Oregon

✅ Creator Economy Expo ('23), Cleveland, Ohio

✅ NFT-NYC ('23), New York, New York

✅ StokerCon (‘23) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

✅ Cincinnati AI for Humans (October 2023) Cincinnati, Ohio

✅ Fiction Marketing Academy Summit (October 2023) Online

✅ 20Books Vegas ('23) Las Vegas, Nevada

📰 Stay Up-To-Date on AI News

Here are the newsletters or sites I follow for AI news:


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Nothing in this newsletter should be considered financial, medical, marital, or advice of any kind. But we can still be friends.I can feel it coming in the air tonight.