Edith writing north of Boston, where the tulips are blooming despite dismal weather.
I am so frantically packing for Malice I forgot today was my day on the Wickeds (thanks for the heads up, Jessie). But I do have something to say.
I grew up in the fifties and sixties (yes, I am that old) not far from Disneyland. My schoolteacher father got some kind of deeply discounted family yearly pass, and we went a couple of times a year. I brought a friend for my birthday once. My mom, so she could spot us, put all us kids (four) and JoAnn in red sweaters.
I remember when the Monorail went in. There was no longer any rapid transit in southern California except slow buses by then, and that fast sleek train was dreamy.
Attribution to Editor ASC at English Wikipedia
One of the most fascinating sections was Tomorrowland. There was a revolving house, and amazing electrical appliances, and something like a television-phone, so you could see the person you were talking to. Plus rockets, of course. And robots. All very futuristic and hard to imagine.
Attribution to Chris 73 at Wikimedia Commons
Now, of course, physical robots help find mines and do other dangerous or highly repetitive tasks. We’ve had robotic assists in factories for decades. But I want to talk about a different kind of “robot” – artificial intelligence.
Computers interpreting what you say (hi there, Siri and Alexa; hey, Google) have been around for a while. Online searches come from AI. Those emails from the yellow giant about if you liked BOILED OVER by Barbara Ross you might like RUM AND CHOKE by Sherry Harris do too. And so on.
If you’ve been hiding under a rock lately (I don’t blame you, by the way, if that’s the case), you might be missing the current furor over ChatGPT and AI that now can write passable text after being fed many digital chunks of written material. High school and college teachers are already having to deal with this, asking students to handwrite their first drafts, using the AI assist as a teaching moment, and more.
Authors and screenwriters are starting to get very nervous about the possibilities. If someone feeds my 11 published Country Store Mysteries into the application, would it write a passable book #13? (I’ve already turned in book #12, DEEP FRIED DEATH, so there, ChapGPT.) Can it write a decent – that is, funny – comedy sketch for a sitcom? I’ve read tales of passages it has written that include wrong or stupid stuff, but that might improve over time.
In view of all these changes, I drafted the following paragraph to include in MURDER IN THE RUSTY ANCHOR, the manuscript I’m working on and the sixth Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery.
Note to readers: the ideas and words in this novel were generated entirely by the author without contribution from an AI application. Hard to believe I have to say that, but it’s the truth, and you should know where your fiction comes from.
I hope my editor will let it stand. Or maybe Kensington is already drafting a similar paragraph to go on the copyright page. I just thought it was time to take a stand, draw that proverbial line in the sand.
Readers: what say you? Would you read an AI-generated cozy mystery? How would you know? What are your thoughts on the topic? Writers, feel free to use my paragraph!