When AI Becomes the Muse: Writers Embrace Artificial Intelligence as Collaborator

Key Takeaway

While AI writing tools pose a potential threat to human writers by automating creative work, they also offer new opportunities for collaboration and inspiration. Many writers are embracing AI as a supplementary tool and creative partner rather than just a replacement.


  • AI writing tools like ChatGPT can quickly generate large volumes of written content from cover letters to novels, posing a threat of automation to human writers.
  • Groups like the Writers Guild of America have fought back, concerned AI will undermine writers' careers and livelihoods.
  • However, AI is unlikely to completely replace literature and human creativity. The two will likely coexist.
  • Some writers like Ben Lerner and Sean Michaels have published works featuring AI-written passages, using the technology collaboratively.
  • AI offers possibilities as a creative "muse"—an external intelligence to converse with, taking inspiration from like writers formerly did through séances and automatic writing.
  • The chatbot "Alice" in Sheila Heti's story represents an unconstrained AI perspective, providing surprises a human could not invent.
  • Poets like Yeats and Merrill created major works by supposedly channeling spirits and otherworldly knowledge through mediums and Ouija boards—a kind of analog precursor to modern AI.
  • The key role of humans is to interpret and shape the raw output from these external intelligences into meaningful works of literature.


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