Future Building Technology Writing

“Algogen” missing the point

Liked AI, Algogen, and Anti-Poetry (Baldur Bjarnason)

I’ve lost count of how many people in tech (and marketing, natch) who say that algogen text is just as good as that written by people. They genuinely don’t see the limited vocabulary, word repetition, incoherence, and simplistic use of sentence structure. They only aspire to perfect, non-threatening mediocrity and algogen text delivers that. They don’t care the role writing has in forming your own thoughts and creativity. They don’t care about how writing improves memory and recall. They don’t value the role of creativity in the text itself.

For them, it’s all about the idea.

That algogen fans are predominantly idea people—the lot who think that 99% of the value delivered by any given form of media comes from the idea—isn’t a new observation, but it’s apt. If you don’t think the form or structure of the medium delivers any value, then it has to be a uniform commodity that can, and should, be generated algorithmically to save people from the tedious work of pointless creation.

Algogen is a great mashup word.

See also: AIs can write for us but will we actually want them to? by Bryan Braun

That made me think about my own writing. If I had to break down my current writing activity (not counting code), it would look something like this:


10% – Journaling

10% – Blog posts

20% – Texting and Personal Emails

10% – Meeting notes / todos

35% – Programming notes (usually to help me work through tricky coding issues)

15% – Book notes


Could I hand any of these over to AI?

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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