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Another interesting interview. As a teacher of writing, it was interesting listening to Agarwal’s take on the future of essay writing. One flaw in his argument lies in the highly influential nature of the LLM’s text on the user’s pathways of thinking and thus follow-up writing or revising. If we start with our outline, but allow LLMs to fill the gap with copious text, we as writers will miss the chance to fill the space with something fresh and original. A lot of research suggests that once a concrete writing scheme is introduced, the writer’s mind has to work twice as hard to get somewhere else. The gravitational pull of the content, biases, and selectivity of the existing content has real power, particularly for younger users.

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