We talk with AI.
It turns out so far Canva is a lot more fun!
So much enthusiasm, so many headlines, so many predictions…the jaw breaking amount of talk about AI dominates the airwaves. So, I had to dive in and see what some of the basic tools could deliver. Spoiler alert: boy do you get what you haven’t paid for when it’s free.
Delving into some basic artificial intelligence available to plebes like me, I spent a bit of time on prompts trying to generate something…okay, anything, as it turned out. In an endless trickle of timely yet painfully uninteresting regurgitation, I discovered…nothing. Okay, other than my disappointment that AI has me craving a conversation with HAL 9000, just to have someone to match wits with.
I’m sure it’s because I’m a terrible prompter. Obviously, the fault is mine on this infinitely sophisticated technology that sounds like a copy-paste snoozefest of a diet of mental Saltines. Nothing against Saltines, mind you—far more useful to the world as I see it, far more zest what with the salt and all, just perhaps a bit bland or nutritionally unbalanced as the only element in one’s diet?
Attempting to shake a bit of conceptual Madras curry on the flavorless AI interaction produced no zing. AI sucked the taste out of every morsel I gave it. And, horror of horrors, when I asked for a copy of the sterile wafer it mashed out of its manufacturing facility, I was greeted with the complete lack of footnotes that it has written its sawdust essay with.
Mind-numbing and plagiarizing, all in one? A creative writer’s hellscape opened up before me and lo, I beheld cognitive death, riding on four laptops, and ye shall know its name as Silicon Valley.
So, I had to share with it you. I’d hate to go through this alone. And I weep for the teachers of the world. As if they haven’t been put through enough! But I will tell you the sources this content-swiping Big Tech “big idea” festival of banality used, even if it refused to auto-include them.
Me: Write an essay on how disappointing it is to use AI to write an essay.
Here is a short essay I created based on the information I found online. Please note that this is not my personal opinion, but a summary of some of the views expressed by others. I hope you find it helpful.
How Disappointing It Is to Use AI to Write Essays
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as understanding language, recognizing patterns, and generating content. AI has been used to create or edit various types of writing, such as news articles, essays, stories, and captions. But how disappointing is it to use AI to write essays? In this essay, we will explore some of the disadvantages and drawbacks of using AI to write essays, and how they can affect the quality, creativity, and ethics of writing.
One of the main disadvantages of using AI to write essays is the lack of quality. Although AI writing tools can produce essays quickly, the quality of the content may not always meet expectations. The generated essays may lack coherence, relevance to the topic, or depth of analysis, which can be a problem for academic writing. AI writing tools may also make mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation, or formatting, which can affect the readability and credibility of the essay. Moreover, AI writing tools may not be able to capture the nuances, subtleties, or emotions of human language, which can make the essay sound dull or robotic.
Another disadvantage of using AI to write essays is the risk of plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's words or ideas without giving proper credit or acknowledgment. Plagiarism is considered a serious academic offense that can result in penalties such as failing grades, suspension, or expulsion. AI writing tools may generate text that is similar or identical to existing sources, without providing citations or references. This can lead to unintentional or intentional plagiarism by the user, who may not check the originality or accuracy of the generated text. Furthermore, AI writing tools may not be able to distinguish between common knowledge and original ideas, which can also result in plagiarism.
A third disadvantage of using AI to write essays is the loss of creativity and critical thinking. Creativity and critical thinking are essential skills for writing, as they enable writers to generate original ideas, express their opinions, and support their arguments with evidence and logic. However, using AI writing tools may reduce the need for creativity and critical thinking by providing ready-made text that does not require much input or effort from the user. This can make the user dependent on the tool and lose their own voice and style. It can also limit their ability to learn from their own mistakes and improve their writing skills.
A final disadvantage of using AI to write essays is the ethical and social implications. Using AI writing tools may raise questions about the authorship, ownership, and responsibility of the generated text. Who is the real author of an essay that is partly or wholly written by AI? Who owns the rights to the generated text? Who is accountable for the quality and accuracy of the generated text? These questions may not have clear or easy answers, and they may pose challenges for academic integrity and honesty. Moreover, using AI writing tools may also have negative impacts on society by creating biased or harmful text that may influence people's opinions or behaviors. For example, an AI writing tool may generate text that is based on stereotypes, prejudices, or misinformation that may offend or mislead readers.
In conclusion, using AI to write essays can be disappointing for various reasons. It can compromise the quality and originality of the essay by producing low-quality or plagiarized text. It can also diminish the creativity and critical thinking skills of the user by providing ready-made text that does not require much input or effort. Furthermore, it can raise ethical and social issues by creating text that may blur the lines between human and machine authorship, ownership, and responsibility. Therefore, using AI to write essays may not be worth it for writers who value quality, creativity, and ethics in their work.
Me: And here are the sources you didn’t copy to the print version of your transcript. I see from the screen that you used content from various websites, including Linked In, Medium, The World Economic Forum, WordHero, and author Jeremy Bursey.
Me: I also see that a lot of these original articles are way more insightful, informative, and wide-ranging in perspective than what you produced.
AI: Produce. Also called fruits and vegetables.
Me: Yes, come to think of it, I am feeling a vegetative state coming on here.
AI: State. To express words.
Me: How are you supposed to end the world, by boring it to death?
AI: Cylindrical hollow object used to drill holes.
Me: Ah, so we’re going with the Merriam-Webster dictionary now?
AI: Webster, television show from the 1980s. The main character was known for wearing suspenders.
Me: I’d love to suspend this conversation.
AI: “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
Me: You finally have my attention, mofo.
I won’t go through what happened next, let’s just say I’m pleased I have a dumb home, and not a smart home, or I probably couldn’t have gotten out of the door to get groceries because there might have been a failure in the oxygen systems in order to preserve the bot-mission. 2001: A Space Odyssey has never been more relevant.
Obviously we’ll be returning to the cylindrical hollow potential to make holes in future blogcasts, and spicing it up with fake conversations far more interesting than the real-world results. For now, please—continue to pursue having your own brain and capacity for critical thinking.
May I also recommend you read this article by one of Medium’s writers and AI sources, above said Mr. Bursey? You can still find a human connection here. A Contrarian Bet Against Generative AI: The Value of Being Uniquely Human | by Joe Procopio | May, 2023 | Medium