WRITING | READING | MEDIUM

How AI is disturbing my Medium reader experience and making me explore less

(what’s on and what now, seen from a reader’s perspective)

Francis Laleman
7 min readSep 15, 2023

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From the Gardening Books section in my library at Bayt al-Andalus, Belgium — flaleman, 2021

Medium has long been a platform for writers to connect with a curious and engaged audience. As a writer, I have been a happy contributor for some time now.

But wait a minute.

I am not afraid of ChatGTP

Unlike many other writers, when AI language models appeared for mass use, such as ChatGTP in the fall of 2022 and Google Bard a few months later, I was not too impressed. No panic in my house! — and certainly no fears that ChatGTP was about to make my work obsolete or anything of the sort. Sheer originality and weird boundary-crossing between fields seemingly far apart have always been my hallmark, and the stuff that ChatGTP came up with — upon my prompts, however well-versed and finetuned and cunning and witty — was blatantly low quality rubbish.

My writing has always been truly personal — and I have always nurtured the idea of not snugly fitting into the algorithm as a token of honor. I am a multilingual and tend to use a mixture of expressions à la bonne heure, taken from different cultures and languages. And my background: imagine a somewhat unboyish boy on a bicycle cruising from the deep dark forests into the windswept coastal plains, on his way to collect shells and fly-run into the gulls and avocets on the swampy mudflats reappearing from the dark entrails of the North Sea with every low tide. The salty taste of sea on my chapped lips and sunburnt cheeks. The tears rolling from my eyes, hurting, pushed out by the sharpness of the hollering winds rolling by on their way south from the arctic. The White Cliffs of Dover in sight, over there, look!, glistering on the horizon — a constant call and promise of further, and more, and the oceans beyond.

Mudflat hiking — image by Wikimedia (no author provided) 2008

And spelling. And words. Concepts. Ideas. I liberally use words and phrases from Japanese and Chinese and Sanskrit and Pāli. I am a wordsmith. I play. I create. I mess up. I…

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Francis Laleman

a husband, father, painter, writer, educationist, designer, facilitator. author of “Resourceful Exformation” (a book on facilitation) available from Amazon.