When people invoke a faux-AI (actually a LLM/ML system) to generate something, they often still use the language of endeavour: here’s what I created, or made, or built with this tool. Those words reveal the truth, as words invariably do.

To prompt a program to generate something for you is not an act of creativity or engineering, because such acts are in the execution, not the idea. On the contrary, it’s automated plagiarism. It doesn’t matter that the originator is a piece of software instead of a person; what matters is that it wasn’t you.

When the end result is built from the works of others, and when the building is also done by an agent other than oneself, there is no legitimate claim of authorship. This is elementary.

The best technique for identifying weakness has remained the same for millennia: seek the place where there is potential abrasion to the human ego, and notice who tries to conceal it. Insecurity is the universal vulnerability.

Those words of endeavour are necessary in order to claim credit, and they are of course also a lie — so therein lies the inescapable trap. The ego always knows. I think there are two types of people in this regard: those for whom taking undeserved credit is desirable, and those for whom it’s intolerable. There are few positions in between.

Each of us already knows which kind of person we are, and you can’t change someone from one to the other. Nor can you stop those without scruples from being unscrupulous. It’s foolish to try.

The only victory and solace, then, is to be the other kind of person in the first place.