Should My Editor Be a Robot?

As I was browsing the internet for something to write about, I came across this site advertising a software program that claims it can replace a human editor.

Without starting a long-winded debate citing science fiction movies as evidence that trying to replace people with computers is a bad idea, I admit I’m a bit skeptical about these claims. Curious, yes, but skeptical.

First of all, no machine can ever replace a human. And in something as subjective as writing, I doubt there will ever be a software program that eliminates the need for a human editor. Granted, if you write perfect prose to begin with and only have problems with things like repetition and structural variation, then maybe this software will complete your life in a way that a human cannot. To that person, I say both “Congratulations” and “I’m sorry.”

On the other hand, the breadth of the program’s recognition is impressive, as is the speed at which it can accomplish what may take a human editor hours or days. And of course, there’s the satisfaction that comes from being able to hand in a completely polished piece for publication without having to break the bank hiring someone to edit for you. (But at the same time, I’d hate to put editors out of work.)

Overall, I’d be willing to give the software a try, but I won’t discredit the value of a human editor in publishing a book or any other work.


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