Monday, June 5, 2023

AI: A writer’s friend or foe?


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Featured Graphic by Destiny Mizell

Story by Anna Kaserman

Is artifical intelligence helping or harming creative fields, such as writing?

I used to think AI would take all writing jobs, leaving me out of work. After listening to other professional writers tell their audiences say that’s not the case, I eased up on my pessimistic outlook.

AI has been the talk of the town since the beginning of 2023. The digital productivity tool Notion just released a major AI update, which peaked my curiousity since I use Notion regularly.

What is AI?

First, we have to understand what AI is and what the purpose of this new technology is. Here is a small definition of AI from Notion AI:

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. It is a branch of computer science that deals with the creation of intelligent machines that can work and react like humans.”

The three types of AI are narrow/weak, general and super.

Narrow or Weak AI applies to tasks like facial recognition and voice assistance. Think: Siri by Apple.

General AI mimics hummanity by completing intellectual tasks.

Super AI is meant to surpass human intelligence.

Short, sweet and straight to the point.

Just like all technologies, the purpose must be considered. The intended purpose of AI is to speed things up and/or have a conversation with humans so other humans don’t have to.

AI speeds up the creative process with tools that help with idea generation, simple definitions, thought processes on paper, or conversation purposes. You can have a conversation with AI generators like Chat GPT or even have them produce pictures for you like DeepAI does. The Notion App, however implements this and many other tools not heard of before. 

Experiencing AI on Notion:

I decided to have a conversation about George Washington, in which I tested out the tone changer and shorten and lengthen feature.

These features were well-built and I had fun playing with them. When I asked the generator what the United States first president did, it shared a few historically accurate facts.

“George Washington was a prominent figure in the American Revolution and served as the first President of the United States. He led the Continental Army to victory against the British, and presided over the drafting of the U.S. Constitution,” AI said.

I asked it to be more specific.

“In addition to his military leadership, Washington played a key role in the founding of the United States. He served as the first President of the country, and was widely respected for his leadership and vision,” AI said.

“Washington was also instrumental in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, which established the framework for the government and has been the basis for American law and governance for over two centuries. In addition to his political and military accomplishments, Washington was also a successful businessman, owning a large plantation and managing a successful distillery. He was widely admired for his integrity, discipline and hard work. His legacy continues to inspire Americans to this day.”

This AI was receptive and positive. It made accurate arguments for Washington.

The conversation technology really impressed me. I think it will be an excellent tool for students, teams and writers alike.

As for the ‘ideas’ portion of AI, the ideas it came up with were very surface level.

For example, I asked for some lifestyles journalism topics.

It gave me the following topics: Coverage of cultural events and festivals, coverage of wellness and self-care practices, such as meditation or mindfulness and interviews with experts in various fields, such as nutrition or psychology.

The idea portion will not be a helpful tool for many students.

Despite that, Notion is the baseline for AI programs to go off of because it is secure and simplified.

Final Thoughts

There are so many ways the Notion app has implemented AI through writing.

Students may be able to finish tasks faster with AI. It forms blog posts, social media posts, press releases, newsletters and more. If they needed example works, Notion would have them covered; They could easily generate them instead of using Google Images from random sources.

My thoughts on AI were in the middle before, however, my opinion has changed. I see AI in a more positive light now after my experience.

I highly recommend other writers give it a month of use.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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