Shortly, How Will AI Affect Our Writing?
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We’ve seen the rise of artificial intelligence in all areas of our lives. It is something that has helped streamline our lives and making the world an easier place to live in. However, the downside is it has also been starting to replace jobs. Thankfully, as writers, we’re all safe, right?
How can a piece of software emulate humanity enough to truly replace the passion and creativity of those of us who put word to page and hope to stir an emotion or inform others in a relatable way? Well, we’ve been seeing more of it lately, and ShortlyAI is just such a piece of software.
I set myself up with an interesting task in reviewing ShortlyAI for Horror Tree to explore just that. Full disclosure, I was given a month’s access to the software for testing purposes though no payment, sponsorship, or ongoing membership (unless they decide to extend it, which I wouldn’t complain about, hint hint) involved in this review. There ARE affiliate links though the program wasn’t active until after the review was already written for about 2 weeks.
Shortly is a piece of software that seeks to replace the effort one would normally spend in writing an article. It allows you to set up the format of your article and allows the program to do the heavy lifting in supplying you with a basic draft.
Here is how it works
You’ll set up a document with your basic format, including spaces for body text, and Shortly will begin to form sentences for you based on what you’ve told it.
I’ve tried to use the software in multiple ways since beginning my testing. From articles to short stories, you have options to add in details which it can use or have it just write based on what you have in place. In some instances, I’ve had quite a bit written and was having ShortlyAI fill in the blanks, in some I’ve taken short stories and clipped out pieces and had it write the areas removed, and in some, I’ve input a few sentences, had it suggest a few, and continued writing.
The results were… Interesting.
I’ll be honest, they were pretty good.
However, that’s not to say I’d be willing to trade my literary genius for a piece of software that can write well.
In here lies the problem. It’s not that the writing is terrible – it isn’t – but it lacks the heart and soul of what makes great authors great.
However, that isn’t a bad thing and I do have to say that I think this could have a place in a writer’s arsenal of tools. Though, I’m not sure if the price point would work for casual authors at this time and it would be something more of a tool for article writers who have to generate a ton of content.
The most surprising part was I had a few short stories that were partially completed works that I set ShortlyAI loose on. The ones where I had either hit a deadline and went onto the next one or that I wasn’t sure what to do with them, it suggested a few sentences that really got the creative juices going.
This brings up an interesting point. While the writing isn’t up to par with me, a writer, it does have potential for sparking creativity in others who aren’t writers but have something they wish to put into words.
For the price, this is certainly something I’d recommend giving a shot if you write for your job or just to read.
Again, the writing wasn’t in my exact tone but it was close and got closer with the more of my writing was added into the program. Also, what it had typed got me motivated to take the stories in interesting directions and that is the feature I really felt it excelled at. One suggestion the software had prompted me to change was in the final paragraph of a short story where I had been stuck and it changed the direction to head somewhere completely different and allow me to finish it.
So, would I use ShortlyAI to replace myself as a writer? As a fiction author, definitely not. If it was at a price point I was comfortable with would I use it to help suggest ideas if I get stuck or to give me a different point of view? Honestly, yes. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed having “another set of eyes” looking at my work. I don’t feel authors would replace their creativity with Shortly but do feel that it would be something useful to have on hand.
For non-fiction? This is a bit of a gray area for me. I honestly believe that tools like this are going to be on the uprise for creating news articles in the near future.
If you’re looking for an example of the software in action in a non-fiction environment, just scroll up and check out anything in italics before this sentence. That is Shortly, in its own words.
Short term, I feel this is a great tool for writers but won’t be replacing them. Long term? With the increased advancement in AI in the area over just the last few years, there are many areas this may end up being a replacement for some news outlets.
You can find out more by visiting ShortlyAI online!
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Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!