Peter Biles at MindMatters uses an old literary interview with Steinbeck to speculate on Steinbeck’s views of AI. Biles concentrates on the way an author writes, and concludes that Steinbeck would dislike the way AI writes.
There’s a much bigger and simpler answer. I was reading Steinbeck constantly for most of my early life. I’m full of Steinbeck in exactly the same way that ChatGPT is full of all authors at once. I could predict the rest of a sentence.
Steinbeck respected and admired SKILL above all else. He was constantly telling us about Mack’s human manipulation skills, Gay’s unique way of healing cars, Suzy’s “six hands” as a short-order cook, Doc’s empathy with invertebrates.
He hated capitalists because they destroyed skill and replaced humans by machines and math. “If they could can salmon with ledgers, they would.”
And now they do.