Here it is. The place where I get to comment on a subject I care about intensely – content. Words in other words.
Is it ever worth reading the Afterword, the bit at the end of a book that explains how it came into being? Below is an excerpt taken from Porcelain, the coming-of-age memoir written by musician and DJ, Moby:
“When I first talked to a literary agent about writing a memoir I mentioned that it would be really fun to hire a writer.
My literary agent said: ‘You’re descended from Herman Melville. You need to at least try to write the book on your own.’
And happily, it turned out that I love to write. Settling down and spending hours, and ultimately months, reinhabiting my past and writing about it is like heaven to me. It’s narcissistic time travel.”
Why write anything yourself unless you have the time? When asked to predict how long a future task will take, we tend to be optimistic. That article you promised to your professional body, will be delayed, ignored and then forgotten as life gets in the way.
Is writing a good use of your time? Unless you are a professional writer, you may not be playing to your strengths.
Do you have the expertise? Rather than struggle, Elton John recognised he needed help with writing lyrics and paired up with Bernie Taupin.
Why write it yourself when you can get me in? As a ghostwriter, I can take your story, write your blog posts, web copy etc for you, and you can take all the credit.
All I ask is the writing room from one of my favourite films, The Ghost Writer. Ewan McGregor plays the part of a ghostwriter hired to write the memoir of the former British Prime Minister.
The film opens with a ferry docking in the gloom and proceeds to get darker and darker as the ghostwriter becomes increasingly suspicious about the project he’s taken on.
The only complaint I have about the film is that he doesn’t spend nearly enough time in this room. Who cares about uncovering secrets, I mean why would you ever leave this room?
Read more about my dream home, the Ghost Writer Movie House
What AI and machine learning mostly need is an image makeover.
I’d like to set something straight.
Writing about AI and machine learning does not always involve robots. Sometimes it does, like CHIRON, a pioneering ‘care-in-the-home’ system which in the future may help people to stay living independently in their own homes for longer. That’s just one application of AI and machine learning and would make for a good picture: a robot delivering a misplaced pair of glasses to an older person sitting in their favourite chair in front of the telly.
However, AI on its own is about the ability of a computer to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. You can’t ‘see’ AI, which makes it devilishly difficult to illustrate.
Part of my job as a freelance writer is to collect images from the people I interview – head and shoulder shots and any interesting product shots. I talk to a lot of people about AI and machine learning, and they’re keen to correct the hype and educate through the use of real-life case studies. Many are also concerned about the imagery used to illustrate articles on AI and machine learning.
You only have to Google ‘AI’ to see a tired trope – robots, robots and more robots.
So, kudos for CA magazine. My feature in the May issue on AI and machine learning – and not a robot in sight.
Two campaigns using a playful persona, only one is a success. (more…)