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Artificial intelligence (AI) policy

Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly taking over the world. At least that seems to be the case, doesn’t it?

As an editor (and sometimes writer), I understand the attraction of AI. Writer’s block can cause procrastination. Research and fact-checking can be a pain. And sometimes you just want to get something done fast without too much effort.

However, AI is causing problems. It hallucinates (an actual term), plagiarizes, and makes things up, especially references. Check out this article and keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here is an amusing/horrifying compilation. AI-generated writing is bad for SEO too.

Some writers are using AI editing tools to save time and (especially) money. I will not try to convince you not to. If you lean this direction, my bespoke, high-quality, personalized services are not for you anyway. But do keep in mind that writers and editors agree that tools such as Grammarly are very often wrong and introduce errors. I’m in various groups for editors, and this topic comes up regularly. Read a discussion among writers in this link (language warning).

I care about preserving and amplifying your unique voice, but AI is making everything sound the same. Do you really enjoy reading articles like this? I don’t!

In light of these problems, here is my policy on AI:

I NEVER use AI tools in my editing. Your project will be edited by me, a human being with a human brain that can understand your style, nuance, and preferences.

I care about your document’s integrity and will not use your writing to feed the AI plagiarism machine.

I normally edit using the online version of Chicago Manual of Style for books, as this is the standard style guide for books in the US. The site does not do the editing; it gives style advice and it’s up to the writer or editor to implement it manually. Of course, we can deviate from CMOS when you desire, and your preferences will be noted in your project’s customized style sheet.

For non-book documents, I will go by your needs. I’m familiar with AP (used in journalism and for many websites) and APA (for academic articles), and I can follow other style guides or your personal preferences.

Will I edit manuscripts that have been written using AI?

That depends. If the document is for academic purposes, I will not knowingly work with anything involving AI. There are too many ethical concerns, and I’ve read of too many cases where AI produced fake “references” that don’t really exist. Plus, part of the purpose of academic writing is to learn how to think and express ideas effectively. My husband is a professor at Purdue University, and he does not permit AI writing.

If your document is for business or personal use, or if it’s a book that will be self-published, then I am open to editing AI-assisted writing. I will make a judgement call after seeing the document and learning about its purpose. Keep in mind that AI-generated writing takes more work to edit, not less, so my quote will reflect that.

I do not use AI-checking software at this time, so it’s up to you to be honest. Any legal or professional consequences that arise from your use of AI are your responsibility.

Keep in mind that AI-generated writing cannot be copyrighted. Amazon requires authors to declare AI use. Now, if you hire me to actually rewrite your manuscript, I am willing to ghostwrite for you so you will be the author. But I have to know this request going in.