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ChatGPT is blurring the line between human and machine—which means uniquely human creativity is more important now than ever before.

Author of the First AI-Generated Novella, Death of an Author | Writer on AI for The New Yorker, The Atlantic

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ChatGPT Will Upend Education and That’s Not a Bad Thing (2:30)

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Is America on the Brink of Civil War?

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Lavin Exclusive Speaker

If you ask ChatGPT to write a novel, are you the creator or the consumer? Stephen Marche says you’re both. Stephen “wrote” the first ever fully AI-generated novella, Death of an Author, by extensively prompting three different generative AI programs. “I am the creator of this work, 100 percent. But, on the other hand, I didn’t create the words,” he told The New York Times, which ran a front-page profile on him. He’s a novelist with a PhD in Shakespeare who’s been following and writing about AI for years in outlets like The New Yorker and The Atlantic, and he has a personal connection with the foremost innovators in the field. Stephen has a unique understanding of how the line between human and machine is blurring, and he’ll show you why the arts, the humanities, and human creativity are more important now than ever before.

“Brilliant . . . Marche has created a stunning, evocative, and impressionistic account of the ascent of wealth in the twentieth century.”

— Booklist, starred review

Stephen has predicted the effects generative AI will have on industries since 2019. Now, his predictions are coming true. As one example, the release of ChatGPT is challenging everything within education, giving us the opportunity to rethink the role of teachers, students, and what education is even for. “We’ve been teaching students how to write like machines for a long time,” Stephen says, “and now we’re going to have to teach them how to write like human beings.”

Stephen explores the thorny problems that plague humanity, whether that’s political polarization, inequality, or the complex yet promising generative AI technology. “Artificial intelligence is an ethical quagmire,” he writes in “The Chatbot Problem” published in The New Yorker. The piece explores the gendered and racialized implications of our speech and how that bias can be encoded in our technology. Stephen poses the question: What is an ethical framework for the distribution of language? And more importantly, what does language do to people?

By collaborating with AI like ChatGPT, Marche has written an audio novella titled Death of an Author. He wrote the book by using three different AI programs—ChatGPT, Sudowrite, and Cohere—and his work was profiled in The New York Times. “I am the creator of this work, 100 percent,” he says, “but, on the other hand, I didn’t create the words.”

Marche has written for The AtlanticThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe New Yorker, and Esquire, where he wrote a monthly column. Stephen is also the author of the blockbuster book The Next Civil War. This stunning piece of speculative non-fiction “should be required reading for anyone interested in preserving our 246-year experiment in self-government” (The New York Times Book Review). His previous books include three novels: Hunger of the WolfRaymond and Hannah, and Shining at the Bottom of the Sea.

Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Collision via Sportsfile

Feedback on Stephen has been wonderful! Very good speaker and interesting topic. We would like to have him back next year.

Medical Review Institute of America

Speech Topics

Artificial Intelligence
The Chatbot ProblemArtificial Intelligence and the Future of Language
We are moving towards a world in which machines will be intelligent enough to create language. But what are the consequences of such a leap? Journalist Stephen Marche is fascinated with the coming implications that natural language processing will have on our lives and work. “Whatever field you are in, if it uses language, it is about to be transformed,” he writes in the New Yorker. “The changes that are coming are fundamental to every method of speaking and writing that presently exists.”
The ethics of AI are often debated: to what end will we allow technology to shift our lives? Or put another way, are we allowing technology to replace something distinctly human? Very soon, we will not be able to read a piece of text and assume a person has written it. In this rousing presentation, Marche explores the unease and anxiety around these innovations, as well as imagines a future in which they will be practically applied. Moving and original, this talk is a must-listen for anyone curious about how technology will intersect with our self-expression and communication.
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Politics & Society
The Next Civil WarDispatches From the American Future
Could the United States be swiftly careening toward a violent end? In his book The Next Civil War, author and cultural critic Stephen Marche considers a number of scenarios around which a civil war might emerge, from the assasination of a president to the rise of armed militias to natural disasters creating rampant food insecurity. Far from being alarmist, these hypothetical catalysts shine a light on how dangerous our present-day social tensions really are, and how little it would take to push us over the edge.
Marche has spoken to many people in the creation of this book, ranging from sociologists and political scientists, to white nationalists and gun enthusiasts—in an effort to understand our current and fiercely divided moment, as well as imagine where we can go from here. In this accompanying talk, he distills those insights and offers his own sharp commentary and resonant storytelling to explore the country’s most hot-button issues. Urgent, provocative, and brave, this presentation will inspire audiences to think deeply, and differently, about the challenges facing America today.
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