Artificial intelligence is the way of the future.
Artificial intelligence is the villain of many sci-fi action movies.
Artificial intelligence is the next big thing in customer service.
Artificial intelligence is the next big thing in content creation.

Ugh … that sounds like machine output, doesn’t it? And it was written by a person. Me, actually.

I’ve been writing my whole life – professionally for 20 years, so I’m what’s know as “experienced” and bordering on “too old to understand the benefits of AI for content creators.”

So, here’s my hot take about using an AI tool like ChatGPT for writing.

It’s fine. It’s kinda like hiring an intern.

Disclaimer: Interns are great. They work super hard and are probably not compensated enough for what they contribute.

I was an intern. Tasked with writing for a minor league baseball team, I put out thousands of words about games, players and standings that were impeccably spelled, 100% accurate and grammatically clean.

I also pulled a heavy tarp over the infield in the pouring rain, dressed in costumes for theme days and made 10 million photocopies, but I digress.

What my articles were missing as an inexperienced writer was colour, humour, drama, my unique writer’s voice. They were missing LIFE!

That’s what I found in my chat with ChatGPT. I’ve been playing around with the tool to see if it truly is the next giant step forward in content creation writing technology. It was almost like a job interview. I asked it to explain why it would be a good addition to my writing toolbox.

OK, this interview was off to a slow start. Anytime I’ve been interviewed, I’ve mixed in some levity and personality to sell myself, so let’s see ChatGPT try that.

I’ll admit that I didn’t react well to AI’s attempt at a funny response and threw some sarcasm back at ChatGPT. Sarcasm is also the hardest thing to convey in typed text.

This brings us to those sci-fi action movies, where AI actively tries to replace/enslave/destroy humanity. It was the elephant in the room, so let’s talk about it.

OK … this interview has gone right off the rails and I’m not sure I’ll be checking references. In the spirit of fairness, I administered everyone’s favourite part of a writing-job interview: the writing test.

Plus, if ChatGPT helps me get some writing done for iSPARK’s client Evening in the Maritimes with a first draft, What a bonus! Let’s see how the AI fared:

See what I mean? There are a lot of red flags in there that I would have liked not to have seen:

  • It refers to an event in the future, as though it has already occurred.
  • It is not specific to the location of the event or the chef.
  • There won’t be a fireworks display above the Ottawa River at Evening in the Maritimes.

AI might be able to contribute to my writing career, but it’s not quite ready for more than an unpaid internship at this point. That’s OK. We know that technology is ever-evolving and this new tool may still end up being my boss one day.

AI may yet learn to write with flare and a unique voice.

But it won’t be any good at pulling a tarp on a wet infield.

Author: Riley Denver


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