The following is an excerpt from my book Beyond the Physical: Ethical Considerations for Applied Psychic and Afterlife Science. In writing the book, like many of the posts on this site, I leaned into using generative AI tools as an assistive technology to help me better express my ideas.
Writing is hard for me. It always has been. I was diagnosed at a young age with several learning disabilities, including dyslexia. To help overcome these limitations, I have always sought out and embraced any new technologies that make writing more accessible. At a time when people were still banging away on typewriters to complete their class work, I was an early adopter of personal computers, word processors, and spell checkers. While many insisted that using these new technologies was cheating, I believed it was more appropriate to focus on the ideas expressed on the page, not the method by which those ideas made it onto the page. Today, artificial intelligence (AI) based chat systems that utilize large language models, like ChatGPT, are taking the world by storm. While there are many important questions to consider about this new technology, I am going to lean into it. As an assistive technology, these systems have allowed me to explore various topics in an open and non-judgmental setting. This book is the product of some of those interactions.
I consider this book a collaborative effort between myself and the AI. ChatGPT would not have spontaneously decided to write a book on this topic. Yet, I was able to apply my nearly 20 years of experience researching parapsychological phenomena to create relevant questions and craft and refine prompts to help the AI help me to explore various aspects of these topics and ultimately assist me in generating text that is (mostly) coherent and grammatically correct. For some, the process of creating a book like this can be seamless, but for people like me, without the help of AI, it would have taken me years to complete (we can postpone the debate about if this book should have ever been written at all for another time).
While there are significant advantages to using AI systems like this, there are also some important limitations. To address these limitations, I have done my best to fact-check the content, used online tools to check for plagiarism, and text-to-speech and AI-based grammar checkers to help ensure the readability of the final manuscript.