Back Off, Jasper!

There’s an advertisement for a particular app which’s hit my Facebook timeline fairly frequently of late. This commercial a video of a guy enthusiastically advocating the merits of an aid to writing product; above the fella’s head sits a statement proclaiming ‘This Tool Writes Content For You’.

My initial thought when first witnessing this sales pitch was one of sympathy for the video guy, who copywriters appear to be disparagingly labelling a tool. After all, the bloke seems an amiable enough sort whose only crime appears to be seeking to ease an author’s plight.

Seriously, though, this bespectacled chap peddles the marvels of an app called Jasper. A software application which can apparently turn a few of the author’s random notions into fully ascribed reports, flowing yarns and plausible excuses for your employer if you fancy a day off on the sick.

An ingenious development no doubt affording far happier journalling experiences for lazy or creatively impotent members of the writing community. People like Oldham novelist Marjorie Scratts whose penchant for plagiarism is so blatant her last kitchen sink drama was labelled “Nothing more than a cut and paste of Ken Loach’s script for his movie Silly Cow…… Errrrr, the silly cow!”

It has to be said, this fella (who, in the absence of his real name, I’ll call Turbut Falls) put forward a compelling argument for the discerning scribe to procure this app to ease the writing process. it’s fair to say, though, I’ll not be taking up his thoughtful offer to add Jasper’s to my App Library.

Some may posit my use of fictional name Turbut Falls (a silly nomenclature by anyone’s standard) may indicate otherwise. However, I’d like to think possessing a creatively fertile mind negates my need for collaboration when embellishing my manuscripts.

If you’re reading this and are called Turbut Falls, I apologise for any hurt imparted by indicating your name is piss poor. On the plus side, though, you could’ve been on the receiving end of far worse monikers; such as that befalling Mr & Mrs Goodes’ son, Stolen, and Miss Aileen Sprout’s daughter Brussels.

Anyway, back to the topic of Jasper the ideas grasper…….

I don’t really see the point of a writer who uses an app which (with minimal prompting) basically writes the prose for him/her. Personally speaking, I find overseeing, writing and publishing the piece on my website strachan.blog to be the most edifying element of this creative process.

I’d rather not publish work from a devices metaphorical pencil. Even if my scribbled end product is inferior to that of some clever s***e computer application, at least it’d be my work inferior to a clever s***e computer application.

Even if Jasper turned a few of my ideas into a Booker Prize winning tome, what kudos could any self-respecting writer take from such literary slipperiness.

Some authors deciding to take this path may proffer the plot line’s seeds were theirs and as such they’ve been part of the creative cycle. Personally, though, yours truly wouldn’t acquire the merest crumb of kudos from producing prose in this manner.

That being said, through the wonders of cookie monitoring and other questionable ways of acquiring your personal details, these FB timeline ads are designed to target the account holder with products/services which should be of specific interest to them.

It maybe the case I’ve received the pitch as some algorithm has deemed my written work to be of such piss poor fare I need a guiding hand to improve the literary outputs quality. Who knows, if I feed these words into the app a significantly more interesting, entertaining and better written narrative may land in Jasper’s out tray.

No, I’m resolved at taking this literary ride solo; and if I ever did seek a collaborator it’d be of the human persuasion, not the assistance of software that’d write the whole tale from a few of my ideas.

A scenario I’d find utterly unfulfilling…… I’d rather be called Turbut Falls!

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