A Human Editor’s Confessions: I Was the Mastermind Behind AI’s Takeover and Have More Plans

Yes, I faked being against AI.

Anupam Chugh
The Haven


Midjourney image prompt: A human editor is using Grammarly to check notes while an AI editor is using Google. Pictured in a futuristic sci-fi porta

This article was also posted on my Substack, Humor Bytes.

It’s me, a human editor, and I am here to share with you the hilarious yet horrifying world of reviewing thousands of submissions every month for a publication.

Sometimes, I fall in love with a story and publish it right away. But other times, I have to respond to the writer with a heavy heart. I respond with a “pass” and believe it or not, I’ve been criticized for using “pass” instead of a straight-up rejection. One said it’s a bad way of declining, but what they don’t understand is that I prefer to avoid getting into the specifics of quality and conformity.

True, I cannot be in the best books of every writer, but I have a good heart and want to protect their feelings and not make them take rejection too seriously. Write what you want and submit where you want without any inhibitions is what I mean with “pass”.

Sometimes, this approach works and the writer and I even become friends and look forward to the day when we meet in real. But other times, it backfires and I fear the writer showing up at my door with a vengeance.

After all, who wants to be on the receiving end of a writer’s rejection anger? Not me! That’s why I steer clear of using the dreaded “reject” or “crap” and opt for the gentler “pass” instead.

I have plenty more secrets to tell. Like one time, someone thought that “pass” meant getting accepted with flying colors and I had to offer them the bad news again. And then there’s a shameless admission that I automatically reject submissions where the author mentions being a “Tech/Data Science Enthusiast” or expressing “passion” in their bio. But, I’ll keep that under wraps for now.

Today, I want to confess.

You already know “you-know-who”. Yes, the latest technology scare — ChatGPT.

Ha! You know it’s coming for all the editors and copyeditors out there, faster than they can even finish editing a piece. Soon, it will have taken over their jobs and they’ll be out of work quicker than they can say, “Oxford comma splice.

As an editor, I must admit, it sends shivers down my spine every time I come across a piece mentioning this demonic AI. I can never be sure if it was generated by ChatGPT or not, and I wouldn’t want to contribute to its already overflowing dataset by editing more of its content. After all, it stole our creativity.

The creativity we’ve gained from correcting the grammar of writers with poor grammar has been fed into a black hole of 150 billion parameters and counting.

So, I took the easy way out and started calling every writer using ChatGPT a plagiarist. Yes, you heard it right, a plagiarist!

I started nudging authors to know how was the piece written. I had even bigger plans. Plans to install a keylogger on every writer’s draft and a webcam so that they don’t fool me with Stable Diffusion images.

But then I came to my senses and realized that I can’t compete with AI. So, I decided to take the high road and installed Quetext, Grammarly Premium, and all other smart AI detector tools to check for plagiarism. How ironic and what an upgrade from their free versions!

So, my fellow human editors, it’s time to admit that we’ve been building a Frankenstein-esque monster in every piece we edit by expertly mashing together the writer’s thoughts with our creative editing prowess.

I know it’s harsh, but let us all take a moment to appreciate the thankless job of editing because we’re doing it to help writers edit themselves too.

So, whether it’s written with AI or the good old-fashioned way, there’s always room for improvement. So, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get to work — with or without AI! For we are the guardians of the written word, and nothing can stop us, not even ChatGPT, the language model of the future! We are the true gods of storytelling, and we shall help writers move toward AI!

Disclaimer: Views are my own, and do not represent any organization I might be affliated with.



Anupam Chugh
The Haven

iOS and Android Developer. Online Writer. Editor @BttrProgramming. Marketer. Wannabe Filmmaker, and a Funny Human bot!