With over 100 million users in just the first few months, Chat GPT is the fastest growing consumer application in history. Its got a growth curve somewhere between a hockey stick and a vertical line and promises nearly effortless content creation with simple English language prompts.
ChatGPT is only ONE of many AI Choices.
ChatGPT is only one of many LLMs (Large Language Model) text-based AI apps. There are dozens more. (maybe hundreds) — Apps that’ll write your emails, blog posts, resumes, cover letters and summarize long documents. And AI apps are no longer just text-based, there are now text-to-image generators, website makers, video editors, logo makers and even virtual healthcare apps.
I’ve tried quite a few of them and muttered “wow” or “dammmm” under my breathe dozens of times. They work. And they’re amazing. Just don’t call them “creative”.
What do I mean? Not creative?
Chat GPT can write an entire book in just 30 minutes!
It may put words on pages, and chapters and titles and a beginning, middle and end, but otherwise, it’s not really a book. Your AI writing app learned the patterns and followed the rules of English language writing and it assembled content — in the form you requested. It didn’t, not even for a minute, have an original idea or imagine a scenario. It didn’t emote, or feel anything at all really. It just put words on the screen.
AI writing and image generation tools are just that. TOOLS. And while they do make things and write things they do so without ACTUAL creativity OR intelligence. They are merely aping the work that can be found in their models and databases.
AI tools are ARTIFICIALLY intelligent.
Not ACTUALLY intelligent.
Read enough AI-generated copy or watch AI-generated videos and you’ll quickly spot the soullessness of AI.
Merely telling the AI writer to write a novel doesn’t generate something you’d want to read. It won’t soon be cranking out palatable new Stephen King stories or writing emotive poems. It’s a tool like a word-processor is a tool and the output should be viewed as a starting place and not a final product.
But don’t take MY word for it. Ask your favourite AI tool and see what it says about its abilities.
I asked ChatGPT, “Do AI writers actually understand the content they write?”
CHAT GPT: “AI writers, such as those powered by language learning models (LLMs), do not “understand” the content they write in the way that humans do. They do not have emotions, opinions, or beliefs, and they cannot truly comprehend the meaning of the words they are processing.
Instead, AI writers work by using statistical models and algorithms to analyze large amounts of text data, identifying patterns and relationships between words and phrases. They use this information to generate new text that is similar in style and tone to the input data.
While AI writers can produce coherent and grammatically correct sentences, they do not have true comprehension of the meaning behind the text. They are not capable of understanding the context of a situation, making moral judgments, or demonstrating creativity in the same way that humans can.“
Me: As I said. “APING”.
Me: So would it be fair to say that AI writing is “aping” actual human writing albeit with a greater vocabulary than can be attributed to apes?”
CHAT GPT: “In a way, yes, you could say that AI writing is “aping” or imitating human writing. AI writers, like humans, use language to convey meaning, express ideas, and communicate with others. However, while AI writers can generate text that may seem human-like in style and tone, they do not have the same level of creativity, originality, or intuition as human writers.
AI writing relies heavily on statistical models and algorithms, which are trained on large datasets of human-written text. These models can recognize patterns and relationships between words and use that knowledge to generate new text. But they don’t have the same kind of deep understanding of human emotions, cultural references, or social context that human writers possess.
So, while AI writing can be impressive in terms of its accuracy and speed, it is still limited by the fact that it cannot truly understand the meaning and nuances of human language in the same way that humans can.”
So, should you use AI writing and image generation tools?
By all means! But use the tools the right way. As TOOLS.
The content generated by AI is good but it’s definitely not human.
It lacks humour, point of view and personality unless the user specifically attempts to bake some irony or point of view in via a leading prompt. AI tools can help you answer emails, post to social media, create blog articles, draft cover letters and of course, hundreds of other things as well. In the case of writing projects, however, I consider an AI-generated piece as merely a starting point to be rewritten and fleshed out.
Writing, as they say, is really RE-writing. Seldom does anything great happen in the first draft of anything. The greatest headlines are cousins to the hundreds of balled up wads of paper on the writers floor. Even the best writers write, edit, rewrite and often start over again. Used this way, AI writing tools can help create draft copy, heads and subheads that are a great first draft.
Then, do a fact check (Yes. AI writing is often full of errors) add your own anecdotes, remove the wordiness and fluff and you’ve got version one. Rinse and repeat. You’ll have saved time and gotten to the goal sooner. But for the love of god, don’t simply hit “Publish”.
What about using AI for advertising and marketing writing?
I wouldn’t recommend it.
And not just because it’ll eat into my livelihood. Advertising copywriting is a different animal altogether and just doesn’t work that way. Ad creative is created at the crossroads of strategy and lateral thought. It’s full of unexpected turns of phrase and has a point of view. The best ad writing, in my opinion, is an intellectual wrestling match with Account Managers, Art Directors, Writers and of course, the Client. It’s a lot of push and pull and trial and error and “what-ifs” and ideation, extrapolation and iteration. It’s a playground of thoughts and words and pictures. All at once.
And its still not the bailiwick of Language Learning Models (LLMs).
Note: As an added dose of irony, I made (AI made) the header image for this story using Midjourney (v5.1). An AI image generator using the prompt, “/imagine a confused Pixar gorilla boardroom presents with easel and pointer to human executives –ar 3:1 –s 750 –q 1 –v 5.1 –style raw –v 5.1 –s 750”