The Problem With Overzealous Accusations of AI Usage


Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

This adventure is part of the College Guys Coming Of Age series. The story ends on a happy note without cliffhangers.

In his freshman year of college, Zenobios Dumitru was a formidable defensive tackle for the Mataneu Marauders. Rather than pursuing a professional football career, he decided to serve his country. He was critically injured during Operation Neptune Spear. He returned to Louisiana with a purple heart, a patch over his left eye, and scars on the left side of his body and face.

Zenobios manages the Heroes sports bar, a popular hangout for the Wolf Bay Buccaneers. He supports his elderly, disabled mother who suffered a stroke in 2018. He has also taken custody of his niece after losing his sister in a drive-by shooting incident in 2019.

Bayo Wulf is the arrogant starting quarterback of the Wolf Bay Buccaneers. He and his rowdy crew constantly cause problems for Zenobios. A group of Mataneu Marauders players come to Wolf Bay seeking revenge after Bayo injures Zenobios during an arm wrestling match. During the ensuing brawl, Bayo’s best friend Aeschere Dane is critically injured. As Bayo sits at Aeschere’s bedside in the hospital, he realizes his hard-partying ways have turned him into a person he doesn’t like very much.

Can Bayo atone for his actions against Zenobios? What will he do about his growing attraction to the man his fellow gridiron tough guys call Grendel?

I wrote the above blurb for the story I'm working on for potential inclusion in the Passionate Ink anthology. I pasted it into WordTune, which is a grammar and spelling checker similar to Grammarly and ProWritingAid. WordTune suggests possible changes to certain sentences, which I sometimes accept, sometimes forego, and other times laugh at because they sound entirely ridiculous. 

To sum things up, the above blurb was entirely created by a flawed human being who is terrible at writing blurbs and run through an AI proofreader of the type that has existed for about fifteen years. None of it was created by an AI. However, when I ran the blurb through an AI checker, it was flagged as potentially containing material created by Copyleaks or ZeroGPT. I have never used either of those programs. 

Here is what the blurb would look like if it was written by an AI. I had QuickWrite (which I use to create writing prompts, occasional images for blog posts, and sometimes filler scenes that are rewritten before I ever submit a piece for publication) create a blurb for the same story. I have not edited QuickWrite's version of the blurb in any way.

In the heart of Wolf Bay, where pride and power collide, a heated showdown between two men will test the limits of forgiveness and unexpected desire. 

Bayo Wulf, the charismatic and cocksure quarterback of the Wolf Bay Buccaneers, has always been the ruler of the gridiron and the king of his domain. But when his arrogance crosses paths with the enigmatic Zenobios Dumitriu, a combat veteran turned owner of Heroes Sports Bar, a storm of animosity begins to brew.

Zenobios, known as Grendel to Bayo's mischievous circle, has endured relentless torment at the hands of the quarterback and his friends. When a chance arm wrestling match leads to a debilitating injury, Zenobios seizes the opportunity to unleash the fury of his former teammates, the vengeful Mataneau Marauders.

Caught in the crossfire, Bayo's loyal companion, Aescher Dane, falls prey to the escalating violence, leaving Bayo with a choice: continue down the path of destruction or awaken to the harsh truth of the person he has become.

As Bayo embarks on a quest for redemption, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to Zenobios, forcing him to confront a powerful attraction that defies the boundaries of friendship and leaves him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself.

In "Showdown in Wolf Bay," the battle for self-discovery and acceptance takes center stage, as Bayo must navigate a treacherous path strewn with unpredictable twists and turns. Will he find the courage to right his wrongs and mend the shattered bonds, or will he succumb to the darkness that threatens to consume them all?

Prepare yourself for a riveting tale of redemption, unlikely alliances, and the undeniable power of love in the face of adversity. The clash between Bayo Wulf and Zenobios Dumitriu will leave an indelible mark on their lives, shaping their destinies in ways they could never have anticipated.

I ran QuickWrite's blurb through the AI checker. It was flagged as potentially containing material generated by Copyleaks, but not ZeroGPT. Apparently, QuickWrite is more human than I am.

I honestly like QuickWrite's blurb better than mine and may incorporate parts of it. I readily admit that I suck at writing blurbs. 

Recently, many publishers have started stating that if submissions contain material suspected of being written by an AI, the author submitting the material will be blacklisted. Due to the reasons I have explained above, I am opposed to this approach. The overzealous use of gatekeeping will only result in erroneous accusations and discourage writers who cannot afford to hire a professional editor for every project and rely on programs like Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and WordTune to help them self-edit. There is a close resemblance between the current approach and the welfare system in the United States, where the purpose is to catch those who scam the government rather than help those who truly need assistance. 

The craft of storytelling has always incorporated tools such as writing prompts. For many years, those of us not making Kingly sums of money have used proofreading software to improve the readability of our work. Barring all but the elite from publication will harm the literary landscape rather than improve it. 

I would rather have a few AI-generated stories slip through the cracks than have the craft of writing become limited only to those individuals with the monetary means to always hire a professional editor or have innocent people accused of wrongdoing and perhaps give up on writing altogether. Most people will not have an artificial intelligence program write their story and claim it as their own. Ultimately, the bad actors will be exposed.

Ornery Owl Has Spoken


  1. This makes so much sense to me. I think we're from the same generation. :)

  2. As much as I agree with you, I disagree with you. How are the boundaries and limits set? Who gets to judge a work for AI or not? Yes, we have had AI for many years in small doses as an aid, but the publication of full novels and the thievery of human creation is wrong. I get what you say about give a little, take a lot. There will be mistakes. I don't have an answer. I just know only that I am sick of technology taking the further step of replacing the human touch. I want a person driving the car, I want a human taking my food order, I want to read books only an imperfect author creates. Totally banish

  3. Hello, Cie! Thank you for this post. You go beyond claims to actual evidence... namely that it is not possibly to reliably detect AI output.

    That being said, the AI-generated blurb sounds incredibly cliched. Your own attempt isn't as slick, but at least it doesn't sound like a million other book blurbs.


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