Me and ChatGPT

I'm over here like Violet Crawley looking through her fan at this horrible electric lighting.

Me and ChatGPT
Photo by Jonathan Kemper / Unsplash

There is really nothing that makes me feel older right now than reading about ChatGPT. And, suddenly, it's everywhere.

Other writers either think it's the best thing ever, or it's the Devil that will end our livelihood as we know it. My daughter's school is holding parent information sessions on how it will change the future of education. Fellow second language learners claim they use ChatGPT to practice their German.

Meanwhile, I'm over here like Violet Crawley looking through her fan at this horrible electric lighting.

I've played around with it a bit.

It's never seemed to do anything but return decent search results. If you ask it to draft a blog post or article, it will. But the results are so full of exaggerated SEO/keyword speak that most of the text is unusable for anything I would want to do.

I've also heard a lot of not-great things about ChatGPT's reputation for accuracy.

By the time I refined my prompts enough, or edited the results enough, to get it to work, I might as well have started from scratch myself.

This morning, though, in an effort to come up with interesting blog content while setting up tonight's dinner prep, I decided to try a little experiment.

I asked it about something I knew nothing about and that Google searches had been mostly unhelpful with. 'Can I air fry in my microwave?'

Then, I asked it to write an article about it. Then I edited and posted the article to Medium.

Here is a link to the original chat, including my prompt and the AI-generated article. Here is the link to my edited version that I drafted in Google Docs.

You can see I did significant re-writing of the text, including an entirely new introduction and conclusion. I also fact-checked the information and added more specific information of my own.

So, wouldn't it have been faster to just write it myself? The end product is probably 80 percent me, not the bot.

I'm not sure. It probably would have taken me longer to research and then organize the information in a way that is most appealing to readers. This is consistent with what other writers have said - mainly that ChatGPT is good for keyword research, and outlining topics. It's not great at writing.

Well, not yet.