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Doyle Witch Spin-off: Technomancy, AI, and Upcoming Witch Mysteries

--By Kirsten Weiss

UnTarot Technology card - woman in VR headset in forest inside a picture frame. Ben Franklin's eye from the $100 bill is embedded in the frame.

For a couple years now, I've had an idea for a Doyle witch spin-off series to be based around their mystery school. Each book would feature a different witch (much like the first three Doyle witch mystery novels) and witches from the Doyle series would be supporting characters. I've started the first book, Legacy of the Witch. You can expect it in spring of 2024.

But here in 2023, a lot of big themes have been coming to a head in my mind, not least among them how technology is affecting our lives (and sometimes scrambling our brains). Some authors are sweating about the threat of AI-written books. Others are embracing AI in their writing. I'm not writing just to produce books. I'm writing to write, so I'm not interested in using AI as a crutch in my stories.

And since recently discovering that three of my Paranormal Museum mysteries were in the Books3 dataset without my permission and used to train multiple AI programs, I've taken a harder line on AI's use. (Yes, my late-to-the-game waffling was hypocritical. AI only became a real problem when it affected me. Mea culpa).

And then I was talking to a high-tech friend working in the military-industrial complex about the threat of AI, and he told me it would "100%" be used as a weapon. So as part of my exploratory research, I decided to ask ChatGPT how a chaos magician might incorporate an AI chatbot into his magical practice?

The answers were intriguing, including using AI as a digital servitor or famliar, for divination, for algorithimc magic, and for automated rituals. I'm keeping the details on file. I considered posting them here. But how much of it was stolen text from someone else's writing? I can't be sure. What I can be sure of is ChatGPT was trained on someone else's writing (including mine, haha), and that someone wasn't compensated.

Writing ideas are percolating. In the meantime, the prequel, Harvest of the Witch AND the mystery school's interactive and FREE UnTarot deck app are available now! No AI was used in the creation of either. (The Technology card above is from the deck. I added a watermark to the image on the blog because... I dunno. It's probably a barn door/horses situation when it comes to theft and AI. But, from now on I'm putting watermarks or otherwise altering my work online).

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