Companies are hiring creative writers to train AI models

September 28, 2023

If you’re a creative writer then AI may be providing you with a work opportunity rather than replacing you. For now at least.

A number of companies are hiring creative writers to help train their AI models to improve their writing abilities.

AI-authored books have proliferated and are filling the shelves of retailers like Amazon. When it comes to quantity, AI is great, but the quality of the writing isn’t always the best. AI models like GPT-4 do a pretty good job but allegedly that ability comes off the back of copyrighted material.

To improve an AI model’s writing ability while avoiding the kinds of lawsuits OpenAI and Meta find themselves faced with still requires the human touch.

AI model training companies like Appen and Scale AI are looking for creative writers, poets, novelists, and playwrights to help create datasets to train AI models.

There are no specifics about the end client prompting these hires, but these companies count Meta, Google, OpenAI, and Microsoft among their clients.

The writers need to produce short stories or poetry to use as training data for the models. Scale AI is looking for English, Hindi, and Japanese writers but other job boards like Remotasks are even looking for more underserved language writers like Xhosa or Igbo.

“In this case, creative writers have a unique expertise that enables us to develop high-quality training data for creative AI generation like poetry, song lyrics, and narrative writing,” an Appen spokesperson said in a statement to Rest of World.

There are already large collections of open source literary databases like Project Gutenberg, but training LLMs to be truly creative remains a challenge. Hence the need for very specific fine-tuning creative writing data.

The lack of available published material in underserved languages presents an additional challenge if you want AI to write a poem in Tamil, for example.

If you’ve got a master’s or Ph.D. degree then some of these jobs are offering up to $50 per hour. That’s cold comfort for creative writers who hope to make a living from their writing in the long term.

At some point, as AI models improve and are trained on quality data, their creative writing will improve. Will it ever rival Hemingway, Wodehouse, or Bradbury?

AI seems a long way off from delivering the solid emotion, humor, or truly artistic prose of that caliber of authors. Even so, we expect to see an improvement in the quality of the AI-authored books filling Amazon’s online shelves.

But is that a good thing?

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Eugene van der Watt

Eugene comes from an electronic engineering background and loves all things tech. When he takes a break from consuming AI news you'll find him at the snooker table.


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