ethical use of AI in writing

Writers find themselves at a crossroads–to either fully embrace or outright reject artificial intelligence (AI). It may seem like a binary choice, but there are a spectrum of possibilities. As educators and mentors to young writers, it becomes imperative to guide them toward skillful and ethical use of AI in their craft.


One prevailing notion that emerges from discussions surrounding AI in writing is the idea of using it primarily for brainstorming. This sentiment is echoed by various voices, who acknowledge the potential of AI as a tool for generating ideas rather than relying on it for complete product creation. This approach suggests a balanced utilization of AI where it supplements rather than supplants human creativity and critical thinking.

However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and avoid over-dependence on AI, particularly in the brainstorming phase. Encouraging writers to engage in their own independent ideation processes, whether through traditional methods like jotting down ideas on a whiteboard or using post-it notes, fosters originality and depth of thought. AI can then serve as a complementary resource to expand upon or refine existing ideas, adding a layer of innovation to the creative process.

Ethical considerations

Ethical considerations loom large in the integration of AI into writing practices. While AI can streamline research processes and enhance productivity, writers must remain vigilant about verifying sources and ensuring the integrity of their work. The cultivation of relationships and conducting thorough research are indispensable aspects of responsible writing, AI notwithstanding.

The emphasis of the importance of critical thinking, fact-checking, and maintaining ethical standards should accompany any instruction on AI integration. Encouraging dialogue and collaboration among peers and mentors can further enrich the learning experience, fostering a community of writers who are adept at leveraging technology while upholding the principles of integrity and authenticity.

Discourse on AI

As the discourse on AI in writing continues to evolve, it’s evident that AI is neither purely a tool nor merely a toy but rather a multifaceted resource that demands thoughtful engagement. By embracing AI for its potential in brainstorming and idea generation, while also upholding ethical standards and encouraging independent thought, writers can harness its capabilities to enhance their craft effectively.

The integration of AI into writing practices represents a paradigm shift that necessitates a nuanced approach. By striking a balance between harnessing AI’s capabilities and preserving the essence of human creativity and critical thinking, writers can navigate this terrain with confidence and integrity. As we continue to explore the possibilities that AI presents, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to truth, authenticity, and the pursuit of excellence in writing.

**This is based on the workshop “Navigating the AI onslaught: Crafting authentic and engaging content in the era of ChatGPT” presented by Dr. Michael Ray Smith. You can watch the full workshop on-demand for free.**

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