No, I’m not talking about actual humans who are just “intelligent.” Rather, I’ve come across several articles recently about people programming artificial intelligence to write stories, essays, and more. I’ve mainly encountered the articles from an educational viewpoint, because if students just have to type in a few phrases into an online AI platform, and out of that they get a complete, original piece of writing (that won’t set off any plagiarism alarms, because it’s new and unique), then using take home writing assignments to make sure students are learning something suddenly becomes . . . kind of useless.
Naturally, I couldn’t read about this without giving it a whirl. I mean, why should I keep writing blog posts when I can just plug in some basic information into a program and have it write the post for me? I’m including a few of these at the end of this post, for illustration, but I wanted to talk a bit about some thoughts the process generated for me.
First off, the writing isn’t what I’d call “good,” but it’s also not what I’d call “bad.” It doesn’t look like it’s been written by a computer, and its biggest problem is really a tendency to be repetitive and jump around a bit when it comes to the topic. It looks better than a lot of college level writing I’ve seen, though no college level writing that got As or Bs, if that makes sense.
I’m not worried about suddenly being out of a job as a writer, and I also don’t think I’ll be using AI to write my blog for me any time soon. However, this is also AI writing in its early years. Give it a while longer, and then things might change. I would imagine that if the AI had a whole ton of my writing to sample, then it could eventually do a pretty good job of coming up with something that sounds like it was written by me.
That’s . . . disturbing. Still, I think there’s a difference between sounding like a particular author and coming up with original content. Then again, if someone starts using AI to write short stories or books, the flood of self-published content we have right now will seem like a drop compared to the firehose that could start coming out. You could full automate the process and then posts the books directly to Kindle, relying on sheer quantity to make money even if the quality is questionable. This would make finding something to read that much more difficult, which (I would imagine) would lead to more people turning back to traditional publishers, just to have them act as gatekeepers.
But in the meantime, I think the largest issue is probably in education. If I were a teacher or professor, I’d start relying on in-class essays and presentations.
Here are some writing samples I had Moonbeam come up with:
Prompt: “Toy Story Movie Review”
Toy Story is a beloved Pixar movie that has entertained children and adults for years. The story follows a group of toys that come to life and embark on exciting adventures. These characters are lovable and relatable, making it easy for viewers to connect with them. Toy Story is an enjoyable movie that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
The story of Toy Story is about a group of toys that come to life and go on an adventure together. Woody, a cowboy doll, and Buzz Lightyear, an astronaut action figure are the main characters. They have to work together to get back to their owner, Andy. Along the way they meet other toys who help them on their journey home. The movie is full of humor and heartwarming moments. It is sure to make you laugh and feel happy all at the same time!
Woody is the favorite toy of 11-year old Andy, and Buzz Lightyear is a new toy that Andy’s older brother has. Mr. Potato Head, Rex, and Hamm are all toys with removable body parts that children can customize to their own liking.
The Toy Story Movie is a story that is sure to entertain. The characters are likable and relatable, and the humor is appropriate for all ages. The visuals are impressively realistic, and the voice acting is top-notch.
In conclusion, Toy Story is a great movie for all ages. It’s a classic story about friendship, loyalty, and courage that will leave audiences feeling happy and satisfied. The characters are lovable and relatable, making the movie enjoyable to watch. The animation is top-notch, and the visual effects are impressive. Overall, Toy Story is an excellent film that everyone should see at least once.
Prompt: “Harry Potter and the Trip to France”
When Harry, Ron and Hermione learned they would be able to go on a trip to France, they were overjoyed. Although they had never been before, they were sure it would be a fun adventure.
The trio’s trip to France was full of new experiences and lessons. They learned a great deal about magic and themselves while there. For example, when Ron accidentally turned himself into a rat, he realized that even though he knew everything about magic, he still had much to learn.
One of the most important things the friends learned from their visit to France was that sometimes it is better not to try something new – especially if you are not prepared for what might happen. This was certainly true for Hermione when she tried out some advanced spells in an attempt to help them find the Snitch during their Quidditch game against Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.
Although the trip was full of excitement and laughter at times, it also taught them valuable life skills such as being patient and working together as a team (even if everyone occasionally wanted to do things on their own). In the end, all three friends came away with more understanding about magic and themselves – something which they could always use in their future adventures!
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