Tuesday, May 5, 2020

A Game Changer

By Kathryn Lane

I’d avoided writing about the coronavirus, yet today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the legacy COVID-19 will leave us.
Apart from the unfathomable human suffering and deep blow to world economies, a few good things will result from this world pandemic. Creativity rises to the challenge and vanquishes the enemy when problems arise. Society is a complex structure of breathing, living, thinking beings. And we are a creative lot. Some of us write. Others invent new technologies to overcome world crises.
In the age of COVID-19, creativity began with individuals finding innovative ways to cope. At the next level, enterprises – public and private, large and small – scrambled to accommodate their constituents, customers, and employees.
It’s amazing how quickly classrooms adapted to on-line teaching. News anchors worked from home. Doctors switched to video consultations, with medical insurance swiftly changing their rules to respond to patients’ needs. Businesses used Google Meet and Zoom for conducting strategy meetings. On the cusp of innovation, Biotech companies lined up to find COVID-19 cures and vaccines.
As states re-open, what will be the new normal? A digital-based world, for sure, with accelerated implementations of Artificial Intelligence.
Higher education will change, possibly reducing the cost of attaining a degree. On-line studies can reduce capital outlays, maintenance, and utility costs for university campuses.
On-line shoppers can expect delivery drones to drop their orders by their front doors.
AI has been working behind the scenes for years. Companies, like Amazon, have built empires on it. They employ AI and machine-learning technology in every division. Robots in the fulfillment center work side-by-side with human counterparts.

Where is the author in all of this? Before the pandemic, most of us already used media platforms to communicate with our fans. We used video streaming to teach workshops and market books at on-line launch parties. Yes, we were at the forefront of on-line selling and delivering to audiences.

In light of the new normal, I remembered an article in The Guardian* on Robot Authors, asking if novelists are about to be replaced by intelligent machines. After running a few tests, the conclusion was that novelists have nothing to fear – robots cannot write like George Orwell.
Let's hope robots will not be employed to write novels. Can you imagine, in this new digital age, how many books James Patterson could publish in a single day?
We can be sure that we’ll have a period of adjustment after we return to the new normal. And this adjustment will not be pain-free. In the meantime, keep writing!

Kathryn’s books – The Nikki Garcia Thriller series and her short story collection – Backyard Volcano. All available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082H96R11

Kathryn Lane started out as a starving artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation. After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from her Mexican background as well as her travels in over ninety countries.

* https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/mar/25/the-rise-of-robot-authors-is-the-writing-on-the-wall-for-human-novelists